NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Disney Publishing Worldwide is axing Wondertime magazine, the 3-year-old parenting title, after its March issue because of tough economic conditions, the company told employees today. The website will go dark along with the print edition, although Disney plans to move some Wondertime blogs and community areas to other sites such as FamilyFun.com and iParenting.com. Disney declined to say how many people would lose their jobs with the shutdown.
The closure is only the latest in a string of shutdowns triggered by recession and changing consumer behavior. Magazine publishers argue that the industry has survived recessions and new media models before. But both the recession and the media transformation are deeper than anything the industry has seen in recent decades. Both new and old titles are quitting print.
As a relatively young magazine, Wondertime was still growing. Its ad pages expanded 20% in 2008, a worse year for ad-page sales than even the disastrous 2001, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. It reported average paid and verified circulation just below 400,000 copies in the first half of last year, the most recent six-month period available, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.