Magazine ad revenues on the upswing

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New York--Magazines, which have suffered more than most media in the advertising recession, may be seeing some light at the end of the ad malaise tunnel. Total magazine advertising revenue increased 8.6% to $1.1 billion in July, while year to date, total ad revenue decreased only slightly (0.3%) to $8.8 billion, according to figures released Wednesday by Publishers Information Bureau.

The beleaguered technology category was the only one of the 12 major ad categories tracked that registered a revenue decline in July compared with a year earlier, down 14.1% to $78 million.

Major business titles Barron's, BusinessWeek, The Economist, Fast Company, Forbes, Fortune, Fortune Small Business and Red Herring—which all had double-digit year-to-date declines in ad revenue—may have begun to climb out of the slump if July revenue numbers are any indication. Half of those publications registered gains (BusinessWeek, up 5.6%; Fast Company, up 11.8%; and Forbes, up 18.3%), while the other three registered more modest revenue declines.

Another positive sign of a possible turnaround is that total magazine ad revenue has increased steadily in recent months. While April numbers reflected a 2.5% decrease, May came in with a 2.4% increase and June registered a 6.1% gain.

--Carol Krol

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