NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Conde Nast is chopping frequency at Men's Vogue, the highly produced but reader-challenged spinoff of "Big Vogue," down to two issues a year from 10, executives at the company confirmed today. Its last standalone issue will be December/January; after that it won't be sold at newsstands, and will likely be distributed with Vogue next year.
There will be layoffs among the staff of perhaps 80 people, those familiar with the matter said, although editor in chief Jay Fielden will remain in that post. A spokeswoman for Conde Nast did not reply to phone calls or e-mails.
Bloggers take note
Perez Hilton reported the somewhat-exaggerated word this morning that Men's Vogue had folded completely. The Observer kicked off the most recent speculation before that with a report this morning of 5% budget cuts at Conde Nast, a company so attuned to luxury that it didn't even have budgets in earlier years, and the possibility of closing Men's Vogue.
The magazine's downturn in fortunes is not exactly a shock. It began in 2001 as Vogue Man, an occasional companion to the powerful mother ship. It debuted as Men's Vogue in 2005, emerging as a title whose readers advertisers would definitely want to reach -- but who may be limited in number. It targeted well-off men over 35 years old with an abiding interest in the good life, culture and fashion. It also wasn't necessarily welcomed by the Conde magazines already targeting those men, including GQ and Vanity Fair.
Circ rose, ads dropped
Men's Vogue reported average paid circulation of 368,898 for the first half of this year, up nearly 20% from the first half of 2007, with paid subscriptions up 60%, according to filings with the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
Ad pages had accumulated as well, aided by Conde corporate sales and Vogue's relationships with advertisers. But they fell sharply this year, totaling just 588.14 from January through November, down 11.1% from the first 11 months of 2007, according to the Media Industry Newsletter.
People familiar with the matter said the two annual issues of Men's Vogue going forward would likely be distributed to Vogue subscribers. It was not yet clear how Conde Nast would fill the subscriptions of current Men's Vogue subscribers.