Going Ga-Ga Over Gossip: Celeb Mags Still Soaring

Circ Figures Show Boosts for 'Us Weekly,' Others; Teen Titles a Mixed Bag

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The latest circulation figures for consumer magazines are due out today from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, but preliminary reports acquired by Advertising Age show that, among other things, celebrity weeklies are still growing like Google.
'Us Weekly' is reporting average paid and verified circulation of 1.75 million over the second half of 2006, up 5% from second-half 2005.
'Us Weekly' is reporting average paid and verified circulation of 1.75 million over the second half of 2006, up 5% from second-half 2005.

Celeb continues to gain
Wenner Media's Us Weekly is reporting average paid and verified circulation of 1.75 million over the second half of 2006, up 5% from second-half 2005. Bauer Publishing's double threat, In Touch Weekly and Life & Style Weekly, grew 8% to 1.27 million and 25% to about 750,000, respectively. And OK reported average total circulation of 757,538, up 43% from the first half; it is new enough not to have reported circulation back in second-half 2005.

Star, part of American Media, increased its average paid and verified circulation to 1.55 million, up 8.6%, but gave up 14% on newsstands, where its average fell to 743,427. That single-copy drop-off has been widely noted because advertisers and others frequently view newsstand sales as a measure of vitality.

Although all figures cited here remain subject to audit, they already offer insight into the directions where individual titles and categories are headed. Martha Stewart Living, for example, continued its rise, adding 1.4% to its paid average to reach 2 million -- despite a 1.9% slip in single-copy sales. Time Inc.'s Real Simple also built up its top line, adding 5.3% to reach an overall average of 1.96 million.

Teen titles
But the teen category, which everyone is watching following last year's shutdown of Elle Girl and Teen People, provided mixed signals.

Cosmo Girl, part of Hearst Magazines, expanded overall paid circulation by 5.3% but slipped 3.7% on the newsstand. Hearst sibling Seventeen, on the other hand, held paid circulation essentially flat but expanded single-copy sales by 5.3%. And Teen Vogue, part of Conde Nast Publications, saw its total paid and verified average fall 22% despite a newsstand jump of more than 16%. Teen Vogue lost overall circulation, as expected, when some subscribers of the defunct YM who were receiving Teen Vogue in its place failed to re-up with the replacement.

The fashion world
In fashion, a darling of advertisers, Elle from Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. saw average paid and verified circulation slip 1.5% to 1.06 million. At Conde Nast, Allure was a big gainer, growing its overall average by 5.6% to reach 1.13 million. Vogue reported average paid and verified circulation of 1.28 million, off 1.5% from second-half 2005. Sibling title W also dropped a little, reporting paid circulation of 460,156, down 2.1%. Glamour also gave up a little overall but could still report an average paid and verified circulation above 2.3 million.

Harper's Bazaar, part of Hearst, used a 3.5% increase in single-copy sales to nudge overall paid and verified circulation up 0.5% to about 726,000. And Time Inc.'s In Style expanded its paid and verified subscriptions by 5.7% but saw newsstand sales sink 7.9% for an essentially flat overall average of 1.76 million.
In this article:
Most Popular