C Magazine is the latest publication to be forced to make some difficult business decisions given the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the media.
The 15-year-old magazine, an independent publication focused on California luxury, is going to a quarterly print publication model, WWD has learned, after printing monthly since its inception. Going quarterly has also led to a handful of layoffs, about four people including its fashion director, given the expected reduction in output.
The people were let go late last week, but all are said to have been offered freelance work with C going forward. Representatives of the magazine declined to comment. Quarterly publication will begin in 2021 and there could be an occasional “special issue.”
C magazine is a relatively small operation, with what looks to be about a dozen full-time people in editorial roles and several more contributing on a freelance or part-time basis. The magazine would not confirm the current size of its editorial team.
But the effects of the coronavirus pandemic have hit smaller, independent publications as well as large publishers. At C, the magazine is said to still have advertising coming in and commitments from brands, but the lack of travel and hospitality advertising due to the pandemic has had a negative effect on revenue. Such sectors have also taken a sizable bite out of the bottom line at the likes of Condé Nast, Hearst Magazines and Meredith, which collectively have laid off hundreds of people since the start of the pandemic.
Across media the pandemic has taken its toll. California Sunday Magazine shut down entirely. Oprah Winfrey’s Hearst magazine O is going quarterly. Playboy cut print altogether. The Atlantic laid off close to 20 percent of its staff early this year, citing loss of advertising and live events. The L.A. Times, too. And on and on. While some publications have managed to increase subscriptions and grow audiences, all have been affected to some degree by a sudden loss in advertising.
But, like other publishers, C has been working to get other types of revenue going, particularly e-commerce and retail. The publication’s long-term pop-up in Newport Beach just closed, but it’s opened another pop-up in the Montecito Country Mart and already, and there are said to be plans for yet another store in Playa Vista next spring.
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