Time Inc. Folds 'Teen People'

Like 'ElleGirl,' Will Live on as Website

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Teen girls, and the advertisers that want to reach them, your magazine options just got chopped -- again. Time Inc. is closing Teen People after eight years, effective with the September 2006 issue, displacing about 50 employees and echoing the abrupt exit of Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.'s ElleGirl earlier this year.
Time Inc. is folding the print edition of 'Teen People.' But fall fashion advice will be found online.
Time Inc. is folding the print edition of 'Teen People.' But fall fashion advice will be found online.

No word was available at press time on the fates of Gregg R. Hano, Teen People's publisher, and Lori Majewski, its managing editor, but Time Inc. said in a memo to staff that it is working to find spots for as many Teen People employees as possible within the company.

Ad pages down
Ad pages at Teen People sank 14.4% during the first half, compared with the first half of last year, and slipped 4.6% during 2005 as a whole, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. The magazine reported average paid circulation of 1.5 million during the second half of last year, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, down from closer to 1.6 million in 2003.

"We will continue to invest in the brand through TeenPeople.com, which shows promise and growth," said the surprise memo this afternoon, which was attributed to Ann S. Moore, Time Inc. chairwoman-CEO, and John Huey, its editor in chief.

That statement in particular conjured up the April decision by Hachette to kill ElleGirl, despite rapid growth in ad pages and circulation, and claim that ElleGirl.com and wireless platforms would receive increased investment. Hachette said then that the cost of acquiring new readers every few years -- as earlier readers aged out of the magazine -- was not the most efficient way for it to spend its money.

A changing category
Time Inc. introduced Teen People to a skeptical industry in 1998, when titles such as YM and Seventeen already had holds on teenage girls. Since then ElleGirl has come and gone; Conde Nast Publications' Teen Vogue has arrived and bought YM's subscription list when that folded; and Hearst launched CosmoGirl and bought Seventeen, which has made its way into reality TV.

The teen category, like the parenting category, is particularly costly to service subscriptions to, given the audience ages out every few years. The category also must contend with teens' fascination with all things digital, as well as the lure of celebrity weeklies. But no one had predicted the demise of two teen books backed by big companies to come this soon.
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