Mags chalk up record launches

Despite the stalled economy, a record 114 magazines in English and French were launched in Canada last year, a 42.5% surge over the number of new starts in 1992.DownsideThese numbers, in the March issue of Masthead magazine, accompany the downside of...

Despite the stalled economy, a record 114 magazines in English and French were launched in Canada last year, a 42.5% surge over the number of new starts in 1992.

Downside

These numbers, in the March issue of Masthead magazine, accompany the downside of the industry wherein 63 books died and another 23 were reported missing in action.

The net gain for consumer, business and trade magazines in 1993 was 28 titles.

Sixty-one of the new launches were in Ontario, and another 32 were in Quebec.

Of the 86 magazines that sunk last year, 51 of them were consumer publications, and a further 31 business magazines. The other four books were either trade or association titles.

Among the launches in 1993 were such consumer books as Modern Woman, Sportif, Sel & Poivre, Home Computing & Entertainment, Edmonton Woman and Bullet.

Business title launches last year were London Business Times, acumen and Details, among others.

Consumer magazines that closed or went mia include such well-known titles as Music Express, Destinations and Body & Soul.

Defunct business titles

Business titles to disappear include Inside Guide, Direct Access and Northern Miner Magazine.

Although a cursory examination of these figures suggests publishers remain optimistic about their medium, other numbers show that optimism may be misplaced.

Masthead, citing The Auditor monitoring service’s survey, reported magazine advertising pages fell an average of 4.7% in 1993.

The Auditor surveyed 69 titles, including all of Canada’s major magazines.

Biggest hit

English-language general interest magazines took the biggest hit, seeing their 1993 ad pages tumble 16.7% from the year before.

The survey says French-language women’s magazine ad pages actually went up 10.5% over 1993, and English women’s titles showed a 3.4% ad page increase.

The top ad page gainer in 1993 was Canadian House and Home, with a 20.8% leap over 1992 figures. Ever so slightly behind was Filles d’Aujourd’Hui, with a 20.7% jump.

The top ad page loser was Travel a la Carte, with an 80.6% plunge from its 1992 numbers, although the book did reduce its frequency to two issues a year from six.

City & Country Home also got whacked, losing 56.1% of its ad pages compared with 1992, although it, too, reduced its frequency to six issues a year from nine.

Ad sales off

The venerable Saturday Night saw a precipitous falling off of ad pages in 1993, too, losing 32.6% of its advertising pages compared with 1992 figures.

And Time magazine in Canada did not escape 1993 unscathed either. The news magazine lost 25.6% of its ad pages last year compared with 1992.