Wal-Mart Axes The New Yorker, The Economist, 1000 Other Mags

keithjkelly_mi.jpgJanuary 18, 2008 — RETAIL behemoth Wal-Mart is tossing more than 1,000 magazines from the racks in its stores, sending yet another shock wave through the battered publishing industry.

Most of the magazines are small, and more than a few of the victims are titles that have long since stopped publishing, including Child, Celebrity Living, Elle Girl, Teen People, Suede, Shop Etc., Weekend

and FHM. However, virtually no major publisher was spared.biz032.jpg

Wal-Mart, which released its official purge list on Jan. 15, is believed to be responsible for generating more than 20 percent of all retail magazine sales in the US.

Wal-Mart had not returned calls by presstime.

The move is likely to hurt new magazines, which take time to nurture and develop a following.

But one magazine executive said it might actually help magazines that made the cut, because it will remove some of the clutter and give the survivors more visibility on the racks inside Wal-Mart’s 4,000 stores.

One of the biggest corporate losers appears to be Meredith Publishing.

Its flagship Better Homes & Gardens is out, as is its sister service magazine Ladies Home Journal. Family Circle stays, however.

Fitness, which Meredith picked up from the defunct Gruner + Jahr, is out, though rivals Shape and Self are still in.

Time Inc.’s In Style will remain, though its spin-off title In Style Home is out. The main Sports Illustrated will remain on shelves, but Sports Illustrated for Kids is getting the heave-ho.

Hearst’s Town & Country is out, as is Hachette’s Home and Metropolitan Home.

Condé Nast lost space on Wal-Mart’s racks for upscale parenting magazine Cookie, the urbane and sophisticated The New Yorker and the glitzy oversized W. Self magazine made the cut, but some slower-selling special interest spin-offs got the ax.

Several titles owned by Swedish publishing giant Bonnier, which less than a year ago paid $220 million for 16 Time Inc. titles, are being left behind. Among them: Parenting, Ski, Skiing, Yachting and Salt Water Sportsman.

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