Conde Nast Closes 'House & Garden,' Again

December Issue Will Be Its Last; Website to Close

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- There goes another one: Conde Nast Publications has decided to shut down House & Garden magazine with the December issue -- after more than a century in print -- and pull the website's plug as well.

Once again, Conde Nast shutters shelter title House & Garden.
Once again, Conde Nast shutters shelter title House & Garden.

Ad pages at House & Garden during the first three quarters of 2007 only fell 1.4% short of their level during the equivalent period last year -- hardly the worst decline in a tough market for many magazines -- but the pressure on titles that didn't lead their categories has grown and in this case proved abruptly fatal.

'Venerable history'
"House & Garden has a long and venerable history within Conde Nast," Charles H. Townsend, Conde's president-CEO, said in a statement this morning. "This has been a difficult decision to come to but we feel it is one that must be made at this time."

He thanked Dominque Browning, who had been editor in chief since 1995 and is now leaving the company.

But House & Garden had also been without a publisher since last month, when Joe Lagani defected to digital and joined Glam Media as VP-general manager of the new Glam Living channel.

"With the unexpected departure of the publisher of our magazine, we decided to take a serious look and re-evaluate the title," Mr. Townsend said. "Our investment in House & Garden throughout the years has been substantial and we no longer believe it is a viable business investment for the company."

Other shelter titles
Conde Nast killed House & Garden once before, in 1993 after buying Architectural Digest, but brought it back three years later.

Conde Nast remains a big player in the home and lifestyle category, with Architectural Digest but also Domino, the 2005 launch that still sells fewer ad pages than House & Garden but is at least on the rise. Domino ran 463.13 ad pages from January through September, a modest 1.4% above the first three quarters of 2006, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Conde also plans to increase the frequency of Vogue Living next year.

Last summer Conde Nast also closed Jane magazine. Other titles pulled from print this year include Stuff, which had been part of Dennis Publishing; Premiere, which had been published by Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.; the latest version of Time Inc.'s Life; and Child, which had been published by Meredith.

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