I received a press release last week from Reed Business Information regarding the closure of Graphic Arts Monthly. GAM had been one of the industry’s main-stay business journals for over 80 years.
Is it a surprise? To those of use who have been reading GAM for decades probably not. The size of the magazine had been reduced dramatically and it seemed as if the articles in the past several years were written as an infomercial about a specific technology or manufacturer.
Was the closure a vote of no-confidence regarding print? Possibly, since Reed shuttered 23 other magazines – all focused on other industries (construction, food services, materials handling, hotels). But more than likely it was a sign of the economic times. Reed’s CEO, Kieth Jones, specifically stated that the impact of the recession as well as media migration forced the decision.
Magazines need advertising revenue to survive and when manufacturers and suppliers drastically reduce their budgets, magazines are the first to suffer. When one looks at the newspaper biz, the lack of advertising dollars accelerated its shrinking. Yet, as those doors close others will open. The advent of the iPad and other tools will permit the publisher to use another medium to communicate; so for those with vision and a willingness to recommit to another channel, opportunity knocks.