NEW YORK — The anemic advertising climate has claimed a victim in the men’s magazine arena. Men’s Vogue is shuttering as a stand-alone title, and will become a supplement to Vogue. The title will be published in the spring and fall of 2009, according to Charles H. Townsend, president and CEO of Condé Nast Publications. The December/January issue will be the last issue sent to Men’s Vogue subscribers and sold on newsstands.
The title was launched in September 2005 into a crowded field of men’s titles, and aimed to set itself apart by catering to an older, more affluent audience than competitors like GQ and Details, which are also published by Condé Nast, as is DNR. Men’s Vogue carried the imprimatur of editorial director Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, who had tapped protégé Jay Fielden as editor-in-chief. He will continue to edit the Men’s Vogue supplement, according to Townsend.
The title had upped its frequency to 10 issues this year, and was set to raise its rate base to 400,000 at the beginning of next year, up from 350,000. However, ad pages were down 11 percent through November, to 588 pages, down from 662 in 2007, despite the title publishing two additional issues this year, according to Media Industry Newsletter.
The move is part of Condé Nast’s across-the-board belt tightening as the current economic downturn significantly impacts the publishing industry.
Decisions as to what happens to the editorial and publishing staffs of Men’s Vogue have not been finalized. “We are in the process of evaluating the organization relative to this change,” said Condé Nast spokeswoman Maurie Perl. However, it seems doubtful that many of the title’s 80-odd employees will be retained to put out a semi-annual supplement. According to sources within Men’s Vogue, employees have appointments to meet with Condé Nast human resources personnel today.
What happens to Men’s Vogue subscribers is still up in the air, as well, according to Perl. That issue is “still being determined,” she said.