New York—Total magazine rate card-reported advertising revenue rose 4.2% in the first quarter compared with the same period in 2005, while ad pages were essentially flat. Ad revenue in March rose 5%, but pages were also flat. The first quarter figures were not much of a departure from February figures.
For the first quarter, just five of the 12 major advertising categories posted gains, including drugs & remedies (up 16%), financial, insurance & real estate (up 9%) and technology (up 8%). On the downside, food & food products fell 10% and home furnishings & supplies fell 6%.
Results were mixed for the general business publications. In the first quarter, ad revenue for BusinessWeek was down 3.2% while pages rose nearly 3%; Fortune was down approximately 14% in both ad pages and ad revenue; and Forbes was up 4.4% in revenue and down just a fraction in ad pages.—Matthew Schwartz