Dylan Stableford looks at the US magazine industry’s plight: rapidly declining single-copy sales and advertising pages plummeting in number last year. Yet magazines are offering big discounts. For example, ESPN The Magazine’s 2 million subscribers can extend their subscriptions for a year – for $1. Is this approach ‘publishing suicide’?
Taking inspiration from the Harper’s Magazine signature feature, Portfolio.com has produced the Reader’s Digest Index, following yesterday’s news that the US magazine is filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Here are a few of the most pertinent Reader’s Digest facts, as reported by Portfolio:
- Current debt: $1.6 billion.
- Amount of interest payment owed today: $27 million.
- Number of US employees let go in 2009: 300.
- Chapter by which its parent company is filing to protect itself: 11.
- Percentage it hopes to reduce its debt: 75.