ARENA SHUTTERS: Bauer Media on Tuesday closed men’s style title Arena, which set the template for contemporary British men’s magazines when it was launched 22 years ago. But Arena had been in trouble for a while and was the only Bauer title that was losing money, according to industry sources. When its last editor, Giles Hattersley, left in March 2008 for London’s Sunday Times newspaper, Bauer struggled — and failed — to fill the job. Anthony Noguera, editorial director across Bauer Media’s men’s lifestyle brands, managed Arena’s editorial team. In the last six months of 2008, Arena’s primary circulation was 29,374, although the number of actively purchased copies was 17,071, according to the latest ABC figures. Competitor title GQ boasts almost five times that primary circulation, and Esquire has more than double. “It had been allowed to drift for a few years, and Bauer wasn’t showing it much love. It had lost a lot of talent because of this,” said one industry source. “The premium men’s mag sector is challenging, but I think Bauer could have held its nerve for another year.” Bauer Media, which publishes titles such as FHM, Grazia and celebrity magazine Closer, said Arena Homme Plus, the twice-yearly style magazine, will not be affected. The six international editions, all of which are published under license, will also continue, according to the company. Arena’s April issue, which goes on sale March 12, will be its last.
March 3, 2009