Celebrity gossip is winning ingredient in weeklies market

A strong performance from celebrity-focused publications came to the rescue of the women’s weeklies market where the more traditional titles failed to stem the tide of circulation decline.

A strong performance from celebrity-focused publications came to

the rescue of the women’s weeklies market where the more traditional

titles failed to stem the tide of circulation decline.



While the three celebrity weeklies, Hello!, OK! Weekly and IPC’s

newcomer, Now, produced a combined circulation uplift of 75 per cent

year on year, every one of the more traditional women’s weeklies lost

copy sales year on year.



The title worst affected was IPC Magazines’ Eva, recording a 17.4 per

cent year-on-year decline, a situation IPC is hoping to combat with next

week’s repositioning as a glossy title for young women (Campaign, 13

February).



Linda Lancaster-Gaye, managing director of IPC’s Weeklies which controls

43 per cent of all weekly sales, was bullish about the future prospects

of the sector. She said: ’We’ve set ourselves targets to improve our

ABCs by the end of this year.’



OK! continued to reap the rewards of its move to a weekly frequency,

revealing a massive 87.2 per cent uplift on the same period in 1996.



Robert Ray, joint managing director of MediaVest, said: ’The old women’s

weeklies formula is starting to look dated. Some publications are

showing serious circulation declines, which implies they’ve reached

their sell-by date. Publishers ought to be looking at how to

reinvigorate this sector.’





WOMEN’S WEEKLY MAGAZINES

TITLE               PUBLISHER     June-Dec 97   June-Dec 96     % change

Woman               IPC               731,754       828,114        -11.6

Woman’s Own         IPC               702,765       808,311        -13.1

Woman’s Weekly      IPC               638,306       696,212         -8.3

Hello!              Hola SA           574,585       536,724          7.1

Best                G&J               511,841       544,744         -6.0

Chat                IPC               494,671       526,365         -6.0

Now                 IPC               348,109             -            -

Woman’s Realm       IPC               230,373       250,261         -7.9

OK! Weekly          N&S               226,504       120,978         87.2

Eva                 IPC               216,575       262,040        -17.4

Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations.



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