Bauer Australia closes another eight magazines

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Bauer Media is closing eight of its big Australian magazine brands, as it battles a severe and ongoing downturn in advertising revenue, and restrictions on travel and transport. 

Gone: Elle among eight magazines canned by new Bauer owner Mercury Capital
Gone: Elle among eight magazines canned by new Bauer owner Mercury Capital

The Bauer Australia titles now closed include major titles Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, InStyle, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Good Health, OK! and NW.

In Australia, Bauer titles are printed by Ovato, although part of the portfolio, what was Pacific Magazines, is printed by IVE. Both printers are, like the rest of the industry, struggling to fill presses in the Covid era.

Nielsen AdQuest (AQX) data revealed the economic impact of a full month of Covid-19 lockdowns on media advertising spend, with a 38.8 per cent month on month drop in media advertising expenditure in April equating to a $303m decrease in spend. June recorded a 32.7 per cent drop when comparing the same month in 2019.

Brendon Hill, Bauer Media ANZ CEO, said, “It has been a challenging time for Bauer and our team with exciting highs and devastating lows in recent months. We were delighted to acquire Pacific Magazines in May and were thrilled to recently announce a new future under Mercury Capital. However, these positive changes have taken place amidst an unexpected, uncertain and unrelenting economic downturn. No one could have anticipated the swift, widespread and ongoing impact of the pandemic on our business and industry.”

“We, like many other media companies, have deeply felt the impact of Covid-19. The reinstatement of these titles and teams was always dependent on the advertising market bouncing back, and the return of domestic and international travel. Despite promising signs from advertisers in recent weeks, this has not outweighed the medium-term outlook for these titles.

“Additionally, with a second lockdown in Victoria and minimal travel, it is not feasible to sufficiently distribute NW and OK! without transit channels. The financial impact of these factors and the ongoing economic uncertainty makes the return and sustainability of these titles no longer viable. We have been forced to reset and future-proof the business like all of the media industry has.”

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