Fashion titles surge; is it a trend or a tease?

Is it a bellwether, or just a cruel tease?

Word came this week that March is set to be a banner month for all the major fashion titles.  Across the board the numbers are up, and it has us hoping (again) that the magazine industry has turned a corner.

VOGUE* ad pages increased by nearly 4% over last March, with gains in all its core ad categories.  W MAGAZINE* ad pages are up an astounding 25%, the highest quarterly growth in the magazine’s history.  HARPER’S BAZAAR* sold an additional 16% over the same month in 2011.  GLAMOUR* saw a rise of 9%, and Time Inc’s IN STYLE* bested last year by 13%, boasting the most ad pages since it debuted in print 18 years ago.  Even ELLE* rose a modest 2%.

Great news, but don’t celebrate just yet.  Last March also looked full of promise, with ad growth and improved numbers for fashion glossies, only to lose momentum as the year wore on.

So, does this new development portend an upswing for magazines, or is it some fashion-driven anomaly?  No one can know at this point.

But a little cautious optimism can’t hurt.

Friday News Round-Up for January 27th

Welcome to the last Friday in January (hard to believe).  Check out the news before your weekend, and remember to come back during the week.  Titles with an asterisk* are part of the Wooden Horse Database.

THE ECONOMIST* launched a new section entirely devoted to all aspects of China.  This marks the first time an entire section will cover one country in the magazine.  The move is due to China’s emergence as a global power…

POLITICO will welcome Keith Perine, kperine@politico.com, as deputy technical editor on January 30…

WHOLE LIVING* now has Andrea Bartz, abartz@marthastewart.com, as senior editor for health & nutrition…

VOGUE* bid farewell to fashion assistant Sarag Anolik.  No replacement has been named…

ALLURE* welcomed back Patricia Alfonso Tortolani, patricia_alfonso@condenast.com, as beauty director…

GQ* loast fashion assistant Andrew Vottero…

TEEN VOGUE* named Avery Spfford, avery_spofford@condenast.com, as assistant to the managing editor…

FARM JOURNAL lost Pam Henderson-Smith, seeds and production editor…

PROGRESSIVE FARMER snagged Pam Henderson-Smith, pamela.smith@telventdtn.com, as crops technology editor…

Wednesday News Round-Up for January 25th

Here’s a serving of industry news to keep you up-to-date.  Titles with an asterisk* are included in the Wooden Horse Database.

Allrecipes.com is being purchased by Meredith from Reader’s Digest Association for $175 million.  The acquisition nearly doubles Meredith’s Women’s network, and the company hopes it will draw in a younger audience…

WOMAN’S DAY* Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Mayhew “decided to leave the company,” according to a Hearst spokesperson.  Mayhew had been in the post since January 2010, and shepherded the magazine through the transition from Hachette Filipacchi to Hearst…

WOMAN’S DAY* appointed Susan Spencer, sspencer@hearst.com, as the new editor-in-chief, replacing Elizabeth Mayhew.  Spencer comes to the magazine from Time Inc’s ALL YOU, where she has been executive editor since 2007…

REALITY WEEKLY* magazine’s launch issue reportedly sold only 100,000 copies out of the 500,000 on newsstands, according to WOMEN’S WEAR DAILY*…

MEN’S FITNESS* launched its revamped website with new interactive features…

HEART & SOUL*, a wellness magazine targeting African-American women, was sold to a group of investors, after 18 years in print.  Former LATINA magazine Editor-in-Chief Sandra Guzman has been hired with an eye towards expanding the magazine’s reach and focus to Latina and Asian readers…

Stagnito Media, a B2B publishing company serving the grocery and convenience store market, was acquired by Topspin LBO, a New York-based private equity firm…

TRUCKIN’* magazine will debut a redesign, with plans to boost circulation to 23,000…

HUFFINGTON POST* welcomed Meredith Melnick, meredith.melnick@huffingtonpost.com, as editor for fitness and nutrition…

THE ATLANTIC* named Kevin Delaney, kdelaney@theatlantic.com, as editor-in-chief for its future global business brand…

SEVENTEEN* hired Tomoko Takeda, ttakeda@hearst.com, as senior beauty editor…

GLAMOUR* named Marina Khidekel, marina_khidekel@condenast.com, to as senior editor for health…

GLAMOUR* promoted Emma Rosenblum, emma_rosenblum@condenast.com, to senior editor…

NEW YORK MAGAZINE* senior editor Rachel Baker, rachel.baker@nymag.com, also will serve as strategist editor, covering fashion , real estate, travel, interior design and shopping…

US WEEKLY* said goodbye to West coast news editor and book editor Natalie Thomas…

HEALTH* magazine’s senior lifestyle editor Christina Tudino has stepped down…

BRIDES* managing editor Danine Alati left the publication, and no replacement has been named…

TRANSWORLD SNOWBOARDING* promoted Nick Hamilton, nick.hamilton@transworldsnowboarding.net, to content director…

XXL MAGAZINE bid farewell to associate editor Amber McKynzie…

Thriving Latino-themed magazines are are a bright spot

Think all magazines are struggling?

It may depend on their target audience.  In figures released this week, Publishers Information Bureau reported impressive, double digit gains in revenue and ad pages for magazines targeting Latino readers.  Hispanics are the fastest growing demographic in the US, comprising 16% of the population, and advertisers have taken notice in a big way.

Meredith’s SIEMPRE MUJER, with a rate base of 550,000, saw advertising revenue jump by 51% in 2011 over 2010, and a 32% hike in ad pages.  Parenting pub SER PADRES, another Meredith property, has a rate base of 800,000 and upped ad revenue by 17%, with 13% growth in ad pages.  LATINA*, an English-language women’s magazine from Latina Media Ventures, experienced a similar rise, taking in 15% more in ad revenue and selling 13% more ad pages.  Time Inc’s PEOPLE EN ESPANOL racked up an added 37% in ad dollars in 2011, and boasted an increase of 32% in ad pages.

Is it any wonder that COSMOPOLITAN* last month announced plans for COSMOPLITAN LATINA, a new bicultural English-language glossy?  An eagerly awaited test issue is scheduled for release in May 2012.

So for freelancer writers and PR pros trying to find new prospects in a shifting market, you don’t have to look far.  Opportunity is here, and it looks like it’s moving to a Latin beat.

Maryland magazine TASTE OF THE BAY will relaunch as CHESAPEAKE TASTE

TASTE OF THE BAY, a magazine focusing on life in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay area, will relaunch as CHESAPEAKE TASTE beginning with the April issue.

Articles will cover the food, communities, coastal lifestyle, pastimes, culture and art of the Chesapeake region.   Topics will range from regional travel destinations and cuisine, to boat building and profiles of artists.

The magazine recently was acquired by Jefferson Communications from HDJ Publications, LLC, and joins sister publications CHESAPEAKE FAMILY.  Jefferson’s new editorial content manager, Nadja Maril, no email available, will oversee the publication.  For more information, contact Publisher Donna Jefferson, dj@chesapeakefamily.com.  Find the website at http://jecoannapolis.com/products/chesapeake-taste

Friday News Round-Up for January 20th

Check in with the latest news before you start your weekend.  All titles with an asterisk* are part of the Wooden Horse Database.  Find out more at www.woodenhorsepub.com.

Reuters has serious plans to produce a print magazine focused on global economic and political issues, and recently published a special 64-page issue for the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Assembled in two months, 5,000 copies of the test edition were distributed in Davos, and another 6,000 went to clients…

THE HUFFINGTON POST* welcomed Meredith Melnick, meredith.melnick@huffingtonpost.com, as editor for fitness and nutrition…

OUT FRONT COLORADO, a regional LGBT magazine in print since 1976, has been sold to Tarnsformation Communication Group for an undisclosed sum.  The first issue under new ownership will debut February 1…

ELLE* promoted Nick Axelrod, naxelrod@hearst.com, to senior fashion news editor…

BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK* named Matthew Philips, mphilips3@bloomberg.net,  as associate editor for the news section…

COSMOPOLITAN* said goodbye to fashion and beauty editor Dawn Davis…

NEWSWEEK*/DAILY BEAST lost senior editor and Pulitzer prize-winning war correspondent Matt McAllester after just three months…

ROLLING STONE* bid farewell to senior editor Doree Shafrir…

For those of you who enjoy celebrity media, sad news; there will be no Kardashian magazine.  Talks between American Media Inc and the Kardashian family fell through, reportedly due to disagreements over editorial control…

CAPITOL WEEKLY, a regional trade magazine covering California state government and politics, ceased its print edition and now is an online-only publication, found at http://www.capitolweekly.net…

TODAY’S PARENT* appointed Karen Robock, karen.robock@rci.rogers.com, as the new managing editor…

SMARTMONEY magazine promoted Alice Hagge, alice.hagge@smartmoney.com, from copy chief to assistant managing editor….

SMARTMONEY magazine promoted Kristen Bellstrom, kristen.bellstrom@smartmoney.com, to senior editor…

THE ANN, a regional magazine in Ann Arbor, Michigan, hired Taryn Scalise, no email available, for the new position of fashion editor, hoping to expand the publication’s editorial scope…

Wednesday News Round-Up for January 18th

Here’s a small serving of industry news to keep you in the loop.  Publications with an asterisk* next to the title are included in the Wooden Horse Database.

SKYWEST MAGAZINE*, the inflight publication for Delta Connection and United Express, ceased print with the November/December 2011 issue…

EBONY* debuted a redesigned website on Wednesday, January 18…

TIME.COM* named Catherine Sharick, catherine_sharick@timeinc.com, as managing editor…

PHARMACEUTICAL REPRESENTATIVE magazine has ceased publishing with the January issue, after 41 years…

THE MAGAZINE, a national Canadian publication targeting teens and pre-teens, has been acquired by Kairos Transmedia…

SANDBOX, a regional lifestyle magazine based in Winnipeg, will cease print as of January 30…

RISK & INSURANCE* magazine lost Editor-in-Chief Paul Bomberger…

RISK & INSURANCE* named Cyril Tuohy, ctuohy@lrp.com, and Dan Reynolds, dreynolds@lrp.com, as co-managing editors to lead the magazine…

CLICK* magazine welcomed new Editor-in-Chief Hallie McKay, hallie@phpublishingllc.com…

COOKING CLUB* magazine bid farewell to managing editor Kathleen Childers…

COOKING CLUB* brought in Mary Flanagan, mflanagan@namginc.com, as the new managing editor…