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NY Times: Prevention Magazine Will Become Advertising-Free

NY Times: Prevention Magazine Will Become Advertising-Free

By    |   Monday, 06 June 2016 09:23 AM

Prevention magazine, once Rodale Inc.’s flagship title, will no longer include print advertising starting with its July issue, which will hit stands next week.

Publishing heiress Maria Rodale, chief executive of the family-owned publisher, said the title has long been in the red. She said that going ad-free would reduce Prevention’s operating expenses by more than 50 percent.

“If we were going to continue with advertising, I could never see a future where we would be profitable,”  Rodale, chairwoman and chief executive of the magazine’s publishing company, told The New York Times.

The move also is part of a broader revamp of the magazine, which covers nutrition, fitness and weight loss. Prevention recently brought on a new editor in chief, Barbara O’Dair, and it plans to introduce a paywall section for its website in the fall, the Times reported.

Prevention’s print advertising dollars have tumbled with the shift to the digital age. Rodale, however, told the Times that other factors have also made it difficult to draw advertisers.

"For one, Prevention is physically smaller than most magazines, meaning the ads are smaller, too. The magazine also has an older demographic — it is aimed at women over 40 — that is not as appealing to advertisers as, say, the ever-alluring millennial," the Times reported.

"By going ad-free, the savings will come in part because the magazine will no longer have to maintain a certain circulation level — a number very important to advertisers — which can result in magazines doing things like printing many copies of issues and offering steep discounts or giving them away free. Prevention has also cut its print sales staff," the Times reported.

“We’re going to save tons of money,”Rodale said.

The magazine sold 707 ad pages in 2015 — 8.3% more than the prior year. But the revenue from those ads was less than in 2014, when the magazine had a much larger circulation and commanded a higher rate, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

O’Dair emphasized the editorial freedom that the magazine would have without ads. She told the Times Prevention will cover “controversial stories” on topics such as medical errors, toxic cosmetics and the anti-aging industry.

Rodale said the company plans to continue selling print ads for its other titles, which include Runner’s World, Rodale’s Organic Life and Men’s Health.

To be sure, print publications of every kind are struggling to thrive and survive in the digital age.

For example, newspapers have settled on a strategy to stop withering away: feast on each other for survival.

For the owners of big-city dailies like the Chicago Tribune and Denver Post, buying smaller publications and slashing costs has become a way to buy time while figuring out how to make more money online. That was the logic behind the recent failed attempt by Tribune Publishing Co., owner of the Los Angeles Times, to buy two Southern California newspapers.

“The case for consolidation has gotten stronger than ever,” Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst for the Poynter Institute, a nonprofit journalism school, told Bloomberg. “It is one of the ways that newspapers are repositioning themselves against the digital competition.”

And the problem is global in scope.

Print publication around the world are losing out to television, adblocking is on the rise and newspapers are struggling to prove their worth to ad business, the UK Guardian explained.

"If newspaper advertising, the lifeblood of British journalism for the best part of 200 years, is not to dry up completely, publishers must find new ways to convince advertisers that they have audiences worth targeting. And quickly," the UK Guardian's Roy Greenslade warned.

(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).

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Prevention, a health and wellness magazine that is published by the family-owned Rodale company, will become ad-free starting with its July issue, which will hit shelves next week.
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Monday, 06 June 2016 09:23 AM
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