Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Mags and newspapers take a hit

There’s not much in the way of good news for NZ’s magazines and newspapers.  Readership figures out this week from Roy Morgan show that, with some exceptions, it’s been a bad year for the dead-tree press.

No wonder they’re worried by the online competition.

Among the magazines losing the biggest numbers are the NZ Woman’s Weekly and NZ Woman’s Day (losing 59,000 and 58,000 readers respectively), NZ House & Garden (down 31,000), Cuisine (down 24,000),  Consumer (down 34,000), Skywatch (down 32,000), Heritage NZ – the magazine of the Hysterical Places Trust (down 32,000), and The Listener (down 20,000).

Interestingly, in terms of the discussion of the housing market and what it is and isn’t doing, both the Property Press and Real Estate NZ lost readers (down 24,000 and 23,000 respectively).

Newspapers haemorrhaging readers include the Herald (down 60,000), The Sunday Star (down 46,000), the DomPost (down 27,000), the Sunday News (down 20,000) and the Waikato Times (down 20,000).

Bucking the trend big time are titles like the Healthy Food Guide (up 56,000), That’s Life (up 39,000!), NZ Gardener (up 31,000), NZ Rugby (up 10,000), NZ Autocar (up 10,000).  And despite publisher Barry Colmans broadside against bloggers taking his business he might take comfort that while the readership figures of his flagship National Business Review haven’t gone up over the last twelve  months, neither have they gone down.

If you can spot a trend in all this it’s probably a recessionary one – readers are generally not spending so much on their mags and newspapers, and they’re moving away from mush (Woman’s Weekly and Sunday Star) and into healthier food and growing your own vegetables.  But you might not want to read too much into that.

Note that these are readership estimates, not circulation figures.


  1. I think it may reflect the abysmal standard of journalism in New Zealand, too.

    Journalism in this country tends to be cynical, shallow and trivial; many people get sick of opening a magazine to read an Op-Ed on a topical issue only to be greeted with someone making a joke of what the reader considers an important subject.

    This is in contrast to the high standards in Australia, America and Britain.

    There is also the slight matter that journalism in NZ tends to be left wing; whereas in other Countries you get magazines and newspapers which cater to specific demographics in NZ it is all left wing of the 'Urban Liberal/Social Democratic' kind....and who wants to waste time paying for that?!?!

  2. Sean Fitzpatrick26 Aug 2009, 09:48:00

    The Women's mags may have to do a back to the future and return to their focus on home-keeping issues.

    Like all products people need to feel they get something out of what you sell - and obviously all the 'celeb goss' stuff is starting to wear very very thin.

  3. For me the turn off is the Leftist slant of the print media, especially the Herald and Dom Post. Their commentators and editorials are sickenly biased, they never seem to see the wood for the trees. Price is another factor, keeps going up and up. The blogs are much more entertaining and far more balanced.


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