Mira! magazine folds.
While Hispanic magazines appear to have put the worst of the effects of the recession behind them and key categories like Automotive are recovering, comes the disappointing news that Mira! magazine – published by American Media, Inc. is folding this month.
An American Media spokesperson has confirmed to Media Economics Group that Mira – its Spanish-language tabloid entertainment magazine – will be folding after the December 27th issue. That issue is scheduled to hit the newstands on December 17th.
Mira’s demise is a result not only of its own weakening ad sales, but also undoubtedly related to the well-publicized difficulties of its parent company this year. On November 1st, American Media announced that is was filing for bankruptcy after struggling with a heavy debt load.
According to HispanicMagazineMonitor data, Mira’s advertisers were primarily direct response advertisers hawking horoscope lines, apparel, diet products and supplements, jewelry, perfumes, and even bedding products. (Note: the top brand/campaign classified as “Various – Direct Response” in the table below, consists primarily of 1-900 horoscope lines).
All but two – EchoStar Communications (DishLatino) and Procter & Gamble – of the top ten advertisers through the first quarter of this year were direct response advertisers. P&G brands advertising in Mira! this year included Always, Clairol, CoverGirl, Dawn, Gain, Olay, Pantene, and Tide.
Mira! took steps last year to adapt to lower advertising activity. Mira! reduced its rate base from 120,000 in 2008 to 50,000 in 2009 and again this year to 35,000. At the same time, it increased its publication frequency from 26 issues a year in 2008 to 52 issues in 2009 and 2010.
Mira!’s main competitors in the entertainment magazine category have also had to make adjustments to frequency and circulation to adjust to the difficult economic environment.
TV Notas, published by Maya Magazines, recently announced that it is reducing its frequency from weekly to bi-weekly in 2011. TV y Novelas, published by Televisa, also reduced its frequency this year to 18 issues from 24 issues in 2009.
However, as the chart below shows, Mira! appears to have been hurt most by the decline in ad spending, suffering the sharpest ad decline among its competitors. According to HispanicMagazineMonitor, Mira’s ad revenue has declined by one-third this year (through the third quarter compared to the same period last year).
By comparison, ad revenue for TV y Novelas fell by 7.5% over the same period while ad revenue for TV Notas rose by 2.7%. Ad revenue for Fama also has fallen significantly this year (-24.9%).
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