'BUDGET LIVING' BUSTS ITS BUDGET AND CLOSES

After Seeking but Not Finding a Buyer, 4-Year Old Title Shutters

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Don Welsh’s Budget Living magazine has reached its bottom line and folded.

The lifestyle title, which Mr. Welsh launched into a foreboding ad market in 2002, had been on and off the block throughout its short life, most recently going up for sale in December. But when no takers materialized, Mr. Welsh decided to close the book.

Rumors circulated at Gawker
Rumors that the end had arrived began circulating at Gawker.com yesterday; Angela Matusik, editor in chief since just last summer, heard the news while she was out of the office judging hopefuls for the National Magazine Awards.

Advertising Age named Budget Living its 2003 “Launch of the Year,” but books like Time Inc.’s Real Simple and Conde Nast Publications’ Lucky continually encroached on its turf. And after founding editor in chief Sarah Gray Miller departed last summer, the new regime lent the book a stronger focus on shopping, which may have made it even harder to distinguish from other magazines in that space.

Circ up, ad pages down
Its circulation had grown consistently, from 424,201 in 2003 to 512,175 in the first half of 2005, according to BPA Worldwide. But after tallying 361.4 ad pages in 2003, according to the Publishers Information Bureau, its ad support peaked in 2004 at 416.9 pages. Ad support retreated to 397.5 last year.

Budget Living won a general excellence award, in the category for titles with circulation between 250,000 and 500,000, from the American Society of Magazine Editors in 2004 and was a finalist in the personal service category in 2005. Most recently, Budget Living signed up to participate in Google’s nascent print ad broker service.

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