'Amusement Business' ends its 112-year ride

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Advertisers expressed both shock and sadness about last month's announcement by VNU Business Media that it was shuttering Amusement Business, a trade magazine that debuted in 1894. The May issue was its last.

The magazine, which had a circulation of about 6,000, was distributed to owners and managers of amusement and theme parks, family entertainment centers, fairs, festivals, carnivals and other touring attractions, sports franchises and stadiums. It was also delivered to vendors that serve those industries.

"I know some customers who I spoke to who always looked forward to reading Amusement Business," said Victor Wisdom, president of Wisdom Industries, a manufacturer of amusement park rides that had advertised in Amusement Business since 1969. "I'm saddened and disappointed to see it close. It was a great source of information for what was going on in the industry."

According to Wisdom, the publication changed considerably when in June 2004 it reduced its frequency to a monthly from a weekly and tweaked editorial to focus more on the entertainment field and less on amusement-ride manufacturers.

VNU Business Media reportedly tried to sell Amusement Business but decided to kill it after reportedly getting just one offer.

Tony Uphoff, president of the film and performing arts group at VNU Business Media, said in a statement that "Industry consolidation in the core festival, fair, carnival and theme park markets continued to put the brand in a challenged position over the last several years."

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