Publishing industry hard hit by coronavirus

Caxton – publisher of titles such as People and Bona – has announced it is withdrawing from magazines, while Associated Media Publishing (who published Cosmopolitan, House & Leisure, Women on Wheels and Good Housekeeping) closed permanently on 1 May.

Associated Media CEO Julia Raphaely said in a statement that the Covid-19 lockdown resulted in the closure of printing and distribution channels.

Launched by media industry doyenne Jane Raphaely in 1982, over the last decade Associated Magazines was transformed into AMP under her daughter, Julia’s, leadership. The company has always been a family business.

Raphaely thanked employees and warned that the future of many other industries is equally uncertain.

Meanwhile, Caxton & CTP Publishers & Printers announced yesterday that it was in the process of withdrawing from magazine publishing.

The decision has been made “in principle”, according to a statement issued by the board on Tuesday, and the company is consulting with employees.

The decision will affect approximately 250 employees. Titles affected are Bona, Country Life, Essentials, Food & Home, Garden & Home, People, Rooi Rose, Vrouekeur, Woman & Home and Your Family.

General Manager Anton Botes said while 10 of the brands were definitely affected, Caxton was attempting to accommodate Living & Loving, and Farmer’s Weekly – which has been published for over 100 years – elsewhere within the stable, “where we see synergies” with other publications.

The magazines have been battling to survive in recent years. The board attributed the closure to a “steady and continuous” reduction in advertising spending in the media sector as well as a decline in circulation revenues.

The added negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on an “already difficult trading conditions for magazine publishers” made the final decision unavoidable, the statement added.

Salary cuts have been implemented at other media companies, including weekly investigative newspaper Mail & Guardian, Independent Media and African News Agency.

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