HACHETTE BIDS ADIEU TO MIRABELLA

Byline: Lisa Lockwood

NEW YORK — Hachette Filipacchi has finally pulled the plug on Mirabella.
The final issue will be June-July.
In a statement Thursday, Jack Kliger, president and chief executive officer of Hachette, said, “With regret, I announce that Hachette Filipacchi Magazines will be closing Mirabella.+Since 1989, Mirabella has been an intelligent voice for women. However, with Mirabella’s continuing lack of advertising support, we did not see the long-term viability for this magazine.”
Some 40 people will be affected by the closing, and according to a spokeswoman, executives met with many of them Thursday to see if they were interested in any available positions in the company. Otherwise, they will be given what she described as “a fair package.”
Rumors of Mirabella’s impending demise have been circulating for months. However, in an interview in February, Kliger told WWD, “It’s a tough haul in this marketplace. We don’t have plans to close it.+It’s a product we think is improving.”
Over the past several months, Mirabella has lost some key talent, including art director Sean Young and publisher Susan Blank, as well as a handful of editors.
Launched in 1989 by Murdoch Magazines, Mirabella — whose founding editor was Grace Mirabella — was conceived as a magazine targeted to the 35-plus woman. The magazine was sold to Hachette in 1996. The magazine has struggled throughout its history to define its audience and build an ad base. Through May, Mirabella’s ad pages plunged 36.6 percent to 150.6, from 237.5 a year ago, according to Media Industry Newsletter. In 1999, the magazine’s frequency was increased from six to 10 times a year, and the magazine carried 531.9 ad pages. Despite the four extra issues, ad pages only improved 7 percent. The magazine has a 500,000 rate base and has yet to make a profit under any of its owners.

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