Hachette Axes Another U.S. Title: 'Premiere'

Like 'ElleGirl,' Brand Will Continue Online

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. pulled the plug on Premiere magazine today, announcing that the April issue will be its last. The company said, as it has in recent closures such as Elle Girl and Shock, that the brand will continue to live online.
The magazine will exist only on the web.
The magazine will exist only on the web.

More to come?
It's the first big magazine shutdown of 2007, but if the recent pace is anything to go by, there will be plenty more to come. In addition to Elle Girl and Shock, magazines that closed print editions last year include Teen People, the U.S. edition of FHM, Budget Living, Cargo, Weekend, Shop Etc., For Me, Celebrity Living and Shape en Espanol.

Peter Herbst, editor in chief, is leaving the company; Paul J. Turcotte, VP-publisher of Premiere and Sound & Vision, will continue at Hachette in a yet-to-be-identified capacity.

Premiere's paid circulation has declined slowly over the years, from an average of 616,089 in 1995 to 492,498 in the second half of last year, according to Harrington Associates and the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Even more ominous, Premiere sold 24.7% fewer ad pages in 2006 than it did the year before, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Titles and websites focused on celebrity gossip, meanwhile, have continued to gain circulation, making it difficult for older entertainment brands.

Hachette positioned the decision as a bid give the Premiere brand a strong position going forward. "This step is consistent with our strategy to examine our portfolio of brands to determine the best business plan for each based on its category and the marketplace," Jack Kliger, president-CEO, said in a statement.

"In a transition like this, which is propelled by changes in consumer behavior and the marketplace, it is unfortunate that the necessary adjustments include the discontinuation of the magazine and that some of our valued associates will be leaving the company," Mr. Kliger added.

Premiere.com and Premiere Mobile will expand quickly to serve consumers more daily Hollywood news, interviews and reviews, the company said. The decision does not affect international editions of Premiere.
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