By Paul Pannone
eWedNewz has learned that Brides magazine plans to go back to a bi-monthly format, publishing its magazine six times a year instead of twelve. The move comes after nearly three years of continued decline, revenue loss and much criticism from advertisers who took flight to competitors of the publication.
After almost three years of criticism and declining newsstand positioning, Brides gets back to 101 business.
Brides went monthly after its owner, Conde’ Nast, shut down several revered properties including Modern Bride in 2009 in trying to combine sagging sales brought about by the economic crash in 2008.
According to sources familiar with the story the return to bi-monthly is imminent and comes after what they feel is another failed attempt to bolster sales and interest in the publication.
Critics feel luring lost advertisers back won’t be easy. A timeline shows Condé Nast purchased Elegant Bride and closed it because they couldn’t sell enough ads or newsstand copies. Condé Nast bought Modern Bride for and closed it because of declining ad and newsstand revenue. They switched to monthly publishing — but lost ads and allowed newsstand sales to dip to 60K in some issues.
Brides unceremoniously got rid of Millie Bratten, credited as one of the most respected and experienced editors in the business, replacing her with an editor who believes that Brides shouldn’t openly promote a Fall Fashion issue. Condé Nast fired an experienced sales staff and replaced it with people who had no bridal experience.
Condé Nast invested millions in a redesign that has so far not stopped the slide. In the redesign Conde’ Nast increased the magazine’s dimensions and upgraded the paper stock, changed their logo, studied more than 400 different type styles before making a decision but so-far has not made a difference.
Despite the efforts newsstand sales lag behind Martha Stewart Weddings, The Knot, Bridal Guide and For the Bride; Brides is the number 5 book in the field — in terms of newsstand sales.
An ongoing poll shows 56% of responding eWedNewz readers feel the magazine has fallen too far to survive.
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