NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Conde Nast shut down Domino magazine today, giving up on a title that it was talking up just two weeks ago, when it appointed Senior VP Bill Wackermann to oversee the brand.Domino's crime seemed to be unprofitability -- perfectly typical for a Conde Nast launch less than 4 years old -- combined with poor prospects for the business to improve soon. "The economy is bad," an insider explained today. "It's not getting better. We're on the wrong side of the balance sheet." Domino's ad pages fell 4.5% last year, a decent performance in a year when monthly magazines as a whole saw ad pages drop 9.4%, according to the Media Industry Newsletter. It also showed bright promise, winning accolades including Advertising Age's Launch of the Year in 2006. Recession to blame
But Domino's decline followed a 3.7% slip in 2007, a year when monthlies slipped just 0.6%. And home magazines have been bloodied by the implosion of the housing market -- Meredith's Country Home, Time Inc.'s Cottage Living, Hearst's O at Home and Hachette Filipacchi's Home magazines all quit print in the last year. In a statement confirming the news, Conde Nast blamed the recession. "Although readership and advertising response was encouraging in the early years, we have concluded that this economic market will not support our business expectations," President-CEO Charles H. Townsend said. The March issue of Domino will be its last. Its website will go dark as well. Editor Deborah Needleman and Publisher Beth Brenner will leave the company. Domino reported an average paid and verified circulation above 1.1 million over the first half of 2008, the most recent six-month period available. That number is up 81.5% over the first half of 2007, according to its reports to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.