Australian magazine industry in crisis after COVID-19 pandemic and Bauer closures

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by Sacha Passi, 9 Now

For years the internet was blamed for killing magazines, now the COVID-19 pandemic has been labelled the final nail in the coffin of what was once a billion-dollar business.

In July, German magazine giant Bauer closed eight of its titles, a significant blow to the Australian publishing industry. 

“I’m wearing black today because I’m in mourning for the Australian magazine industry,” former magazine editor Nene King, told A Current Affair.

COVID-19 has proven to be a nail in the coffin of Australian magazines. (9News)

“What was popular years ago just doesn’t exist anymore.”

Australia’s colourful ‘Queen of magazines’ was credited with turning Women’s Day into one of the highest selling magazines in history.

“When I was doing Women’s Day, we sold 960,000 copies every week. That’s sales, not readership,” Ms King said.

“Now, if Women’s Day do 200,000 circulation, they’d open the champagne bottles.”

It was announced last month Harper’s BAZAAR Australia, ELLE Australia, InStyle, Men’s Health Australia, Women’s Health Australia, Good Health, NW and OK! Australia would be axed after publication was halted in May. In a statement, Bauer cited a lack of travel and declining revenue for the closure.

“We, like many other media companies, have deeply felt the impact of COVID-19,” Bauer Media Australia and New Zealand CEO Brendon Hill said in a statement.

“The reinstatement of these titles and teams was always dependent on the advertising market bouncing back and the return of domestic and international travel.

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