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Gruner & Jahr Unloads a Troubled Title

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Conde Nast Publications is buying Gruner & Jahr Publishing USA's troubled teen title YM and will shutter the title after G&J publishes its final December-January issue.

The financial terms of the deal were not

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immediately clear. In an e-mail to staffers, G&J President-CEO Russell Denson wrote, "This morning we signed an agreement with Conde Nast to sell YM magazine and related assets. I'm pleased that we were able to complete this sale quickly so we can focus our resources on our core magazines and markets."

Beginning in February the subscribers to YM will receive Conde Nast's Teen Vogue, according to Conde Nast. The privately-held publisher is expected to continue publishing special-interest magazines under the YM rubric, though. Teen Vogue will raise its rate base to 850,000 with its February issue. Before the YM deal, the title was slated to increase its rate base to 650,000.

Teen Vogue's initial circulation audit was just released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations and shows a high percentage of "sponsored" subscription sales, which are bulk purchases of subscriptions made by what are identified as various "business concerns." For the last half of 2003, Teen Vogue sold 50,594 "sponsored" subscriptions, which accounts for almost 10% of the title's total circulation and 23.3% of its subscriptions.

Through August, according to Publishers Information Bureau, Teen Vogue's ad pages rose 41.5%, to 434.9. In the same period, YM's ad pages fell 42.4%, to 378.8.

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