American Express Publishing Corp.

By Published on .

As the fortunes of the luxury market go, so go those of this Time Inc.-managed portfolio of five titles. Accordingly, American Express magazines' ad pages hung on well past many other titles in 2001, and hit the ground harder in the post-Sept. 11 pullback. (It recently touted huge ad page increases in key titles for 2003's first quarter, but a good chunk of that gain came from titles hard hit in `02 .) Among the largest magazine companies, AmEx's 9.1% ad drop was the biggest. Still, Food & Wine eked out a marginal ad page gain in '02, outperforming most of its epicurean competitors. War uncertainties mock any attempts at forecasting this year, but part of AmEx's current misfortune is that it's not a very good time to have titles-much less a company flagship-with the word "travel" in them. Not good for the publisher of Travel & Leisure and T&L Golf.

Rating: 2 stars

Best performer:

Food & Wine

2002 ad pages

up 0.8% to 1,226.2, according to Publishers Information Bureau

circulation

951,751 for second-half 2002, down 2.7% from year earlier, according to Audit Bureau of Circulations (all circ below via ABC unless otherwise noted)

Worst performer:

Departures

ad pages

down 14.9% to 871.9

circulation

up 8.6% to 655,822 (almost all controlled circ), according to BPA

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