The past two years have been a hellish nightmare for the magazine industry. The industry experts blame several trends happening in print journalism, but mostly the blame lies with the decline of advertising. Selling ad pages and securing ad dollars seems to be the glue that has held a magazine up monthly, and it’s disappearing rapidly. Magazines are losing ad dollars and pages. According to State of the Media, two hundred and fifty-one magazines’ ad pages and dollars were down 12% in 2008 compared to just 1% in 2007. Before I took magazine publishing last year, those numbers probably would not have meant much to me, but now I know better.
When it came to budgeting my dream magazine, not many people were going to get paid unless I had ad dollars boosting my revenue. Real magazine editors all over the U.S. are having a huge headache trying to balance a budget without the revenue from advertising. And for some, the easiest way to balance or cut a budget is to just simply close the financially problematic magazine down. So, will my favorite magazine still exist next year? Blender, VIBE, Playgirl, Meredith Corporation’s Country Home has all said their goodbyes (It’s so hard to say goodbye).
Who is next to the guillotine? What can we, the college students do about it? We eventually have to graduate from the comfort of Drake University and enter the real world. Or will advertisers come back before we do? I think the most important question the magazine industry should be asking is once this nightmare does end, how do we prevent it from coming back or at least better prepare for it?