Fairchild Publications

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Fairchild consumer flagship W, the bread and butter of which is an ineffable fusion of fashion and society, posted its second consecutive down year in ad pages. Since the single publication's ad volume is larger than those of Fairchild's other consumer titles combined, W's 12.6% decline was bound to hurt. The bright spot among the other titles at this unit of Advance Publications was the revamped and relaunched Details, which saw an ad page gain of 5.1% and won a National Magazine Award for design to boot (though Editor Daniel Peres' acceptance speech, which could be roughly translated as a mumbled "Whatever," put an odd spin on the occasion). And if Details' layout may sometimes resemble that of a videogame, circulation and ad pages stayed up in small, steady single digits throughout `02. Which may help reduce the sting of getting into hot water for attributing an article to Kurt Andersen that the novelist/media maven didn't actually write. Elsewhere, Jane's editorial product remains strong, but ad pages felt the hit in '02, falling 6.4%. Like other companies, among them American Express Publishing Corp. and Fairchild sibling company Conde Nast Publications, Fairchild's dependence on the luxury category, via the relative size of W in its portfolio, leaves it with little wiggle room beyond battening down the hatches and waiting for spending in that category to pick up.

Rating: 2 stars

Best performer:


ad pages

up 5.1% to 831.3


up 1.7% to 414,649

Worst performer:


ad pages

down 12.6% to 1,858.5


up 1.9% to 464,169

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