Audit Bureau of Circulations: Celeb titles hot, laddie books not

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Recent tumult in the circulation world draws extra attention to Audit Bureau of Circulations' release last week of magazines' latest circulation figures, but what was revealed was in line with long-running trends.

Big winners: Celebrity weeklies, next-generation women's magazines, and virtually all titles from the improbably hot New Jersey-based Bauer Publishing. Big losers: Traditional women's service and "laddie" titles. (See the top 200 titles at AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq33q and the top 10 circulation increases at AdAge.com aaq33r.)

Bauer's low-cost celebrity weekly In Touch saw total circulation increase 79.1% to 1 million, while newsstand sales rose 78% to 992,724. (That number got a slight boost from the July 5 issue, which was priced at 25ยข and sold over 1.5 million copies.) Wenner Media's Us Weekly, Advertising Age's most recent Magazine of the Year, saw newsstand sales spike 21.8% to 850,821, and overall circulation rise 12.7% to 1.5 million. Time Inc.'s People posted a smaller newsstand gain, of 1.7%, but then it sells 1.5 million newsstand copies each week. Only American Media's Star declined, with newsstand sales falling 3.5% to 920,312.

Bauer's First for Women and Woman's World showed significant single-digit increases in newsstand sales despite volumes that dwarf the competition. Those titles sell an average of 1.3 million and 1.5 million through that channel.

standout

As such, their performance stands out against women's service warhorses. Gruner & Jahr USA Publishing's Family Circle saw newsstand sales drop 25.2%. Hachette's Woman's Day recorded a 13.7% newsstand decline. Falloffs were smaller at Hearst Magazines' Good Housekeeping and Redbook, but both showed significant single-digit newsstand drops.

Dennis Publishing's Maxim and Stuff posted newsstand drops of 16.9% and 24.1%. Hearst Magazines' Esquire and Rodale's Men's Health, both of which made Ad Age's A List last year, posted newsstand declines after a string of gains, with Men's Health falling 0.6% and Esquire off 5.4%.

Total circulation at Conde Nast Publications' Lucky rose 13% to just over 1 million, and Time Inc.'s Real Simple shot up 20.6% to 1.8 million.

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