CELEBRITY MAGAZINES UP, LADDY TITLES DOWN

Latest Audit Bureau of Circulations Fas-Fax Report

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Among the big winners in the just-released Audit Bureau of Circulations Fas-Fax report, which tracks magazine circulation for the first six months of the year, are the latest celebrity
'US Weekly' is up, Bonnie Fuller's 'Star' is down.
magazines such as Wenner Media's Us Weekly and Bauer Publications' In Touch.

'Stuff' down 19.3%
Among the losers are the leading "lad" titles. The segment's three big guns -- Dennis Publishing's Maxim and Stuff and Emap's FHM -- all posted significant newsstand sales declines. Stuff fared the worst: Its newsstand sales fell 19.3%, and the title failed to deliver its rate base, which refers to the circulation guaranteed to advertisers. (Ironically, Playboy, the pioneering men's title whose strategic missteps left the door open for the laddie books, saw its newsstand sales rise 11.5%.)

No such worries were found at Us Weekly or In Touch. Us Weekly's newsstand sales shot up 47.3% to 745,887. And In Touch saw its circulation shoot up an astonishing 73.6% to 729,799, leaving it just short of Us Weekly's newsstand sales. The inventor of the form, and arguably the most successful magazine in American history, Time Inc.'s People, didn't fare too shabbily either. Its newsstand sales rose 3.3% to 1.4 million.

Bonnie Fuller down
American Media's The Star continues to shed readers despite being helmed by Us Weekly's reinventor, Bonnie Fuller. Its newsstand sales dropped 10.5% and overall circulation fell 6.3% to just under 1.2 million, which has been its rate base since mid-April.

Elsewhere, results at the likes of Hearst Magazines' Cosmopolitan and Conde Nast Publications' Glamour and Lucky suggest that 20-something women are suddenly back to buying magazines. (They're Us Weekly's target audience, too.) Glamour reversed recent declines by pumping up newsstand sales 9.2% to 972,769, and shopping title Lucky showed no signs of heat loss as it gained newsstand sales of 15.6%. Hearst's Cosmo saw its single-copy sales rise 7.6% to just over 2 million.

Women's service
Traditional women's service magazines remained challenged on the newsstands, with the notable exception of Hearst's Good Housekeeping, which eked out a 1.2% newsstand gain. And Bauer's First For Women, though often considered a mere low-cost take on women's service motifs, saw its newsstand sales rise 16.0% to 1.4 million.

Hearst's Esquire and Conde Nast's GQ (in its first full period under the guidance of yearling editor in chief Jim Nelson) both turned in solid performances, with sales rising 13.9% and 23.8%, respectively. Among independent titles, shelter magazine Dwell and urban-lad title King made noise, posting double-digit newsstand increases and overall gains of 30.3% and 52.2%

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