The news was confirmed by Hearst late Tuesday.
“Young Millennial women love the Seventeen brand and the encouragement it provides,” offered a Seventeen spokeswoman, who underscored the title’s social, TV and web presence. “We’re introducing a new six-time-per-year frequency pegged to key life moments in our readers’ lives, like prom and back-to-school, while increasingly investing in a social-first approach to digital.”
Sources told WWD that the circulation reduction included job cuts on the business side. Those layoffs follow the dismissal of editor in chief Michelle Tan, who was let go while on maternity leave. The title had been under the purview of Joanna Coles, who on Tuesday was promoted to Hearst’s chief content officer after having held the role of editorial director of the teen glossy and editor in chief of Cosmopolitan. Taking on those roles is Michele Promaulayko, who will likely play a part in amping up Seventeen’s digital presence.
It has been no secret that the teen market has been challenged. At rival Condé Nast, Teen Vogue has had a tough go with several masthead cuts in recent years, and the departure of editor in chief Amy Astley, who joined sister publication Architectural Digest as editor in chief. To some, that move signaled a bumpy road for Teen Vogue, but with Seventeen now less prominently in the picture — at least, the print one — Condé may want to reconsider.
Drilling into the numbers, in the second half of 2015, Seventeen’s total paid and verified circulation was flat over the prior year at about 2 million. Total single-copy sales, though, declined 47.1 percent to 81,831, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. While circulation has held steady since Tan took the reins, the newsstand has been falling fast in recent months. In the last five months of 2016, Seventeen’s newsstand sales averaged 57,760.
While the newsstand has been tough for all print publications across the industry, Seventeen also has had trouble gaining significant increases on the digital front. From February to July, the title’s web traffic totaled 3.9 million unique visitors, according to Comscore. In 2015, Seventeen pulled 3.7 million uniques on average.