Flat first quarter
Total ad pages for the first quarter were flat at 51,381.9, a gain of just 0.4% compared to the first quarter of 2005, according to PIB.
Among those hardest hit were Time Inc.'s Parenting with a 20.5% decline in ad pages from the first quarter of 2005, while Motor Boating magazine, part of the Time4 Media division of Time Inc., fell by a full 24.2%.
Elle Girl, which was just abruptly closed by Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., delivered a 14.2% ad-page gain. Mother ship Elle was also up an impressive 15.4%.
Teen titles solid
Most of the teen category was solid. Hearst's Cosmo Girl increased ad-pages 12.6% while Conde Nast's Teen Vogue increased 6.5% and Seventeen gained only 1.2%. Time Inc.'s Teen People decreased ad-page sales 6.3% from a year ago.
Among the big winners in total pages sold: Bride's magazine, with 1,158.4 pages, up 24.3% from the first quarter a year earlier, and Bridal Guide, with 934.3 pages, up just 0.1% over the prior period. The New York Times Magazine also notched up nearly 970 ad pages, for a gain of 14.5%.
Among broader, standalone consumer titles, Time Inc.'s People led the pack with 826.7 pages, but even this behemoth saw pages drop 5.9% during January, March and February. Sibling title In Style followed next, with 703.8 pages, down 2%.
There were plenty of bright spots in the largely overcast landscape. The biggest gainers in percentage terms included Martha Stewart Living, where ad pages grew 80.9%. Some enthusiast titles also held up well, like Time4 Media's Transworld Surf, where ad pages grew 20.6% over the first quarter of 2005.
Muscle & Fitness expanded ad pages by 46.4% and Star magazine produced 13.5% growth -- good news for parent company American Media. (The bad news for American Media: National Enquirer ad pages fell 14.4%.)
It was a solid quarter for plenty of Conde Nast Publications titles, with a 32.1% gain at Wired, 16.3% more pages for Conde Nast Traveler and 6.9% bump up at Architectural Digest. Other Conde titles struggled; The New Yorker's ad pages fell 14.9% and Vanity Fair's ad pages dropped 10.5%.
At Hearst, Esquire turned in a 28.6% improvement in ad pages, while O The Oprah Magazine was up 10.8%. Cosmopolitan was off 6.5% in ad pages, while Redbook was down 5.9% and Marie Claire, which switched editors today, was essentially flat, gaining just 0.7% in ad pages. Harper's Bazaar was also flat, but Good Housekeeping was down 6%.
Independent regionals New York Magazine and Texas Monthly also continued their recent momentum, as each improved its ad-page total by 15.5%.