As Ad Sales Drop, NYT Shrinks Magazine
By Don Irvine
Friday June 5, 2009

Amid slumping ad sales the New York Times Magazine will shrink by 9% in size, further hastening the decline of the Gray Lady.

From Editor & Publisher

The New York Times Magazine, considered the top revenue producer of newspaper Sunday magazines and often ranking among the best ad revenue magazines in the country, is cutting its size by 9%, according to a Times spokeswoman.

The smaller version of the glossy magazine will debut in two weeks with the June 14th issue, according to Magazine Editor Gerald Marzorati.

“There will be something about it in the issue we are closing,” he told E&P Monday. “It is related to the trimming of the size to save on money and ink. It is a shave, not a hatchet.”

Spokeswoman Diane McNulty confirmed the change, stating it will reduce the size from 9 1/2 inches by 11 1/2 inches to 8 15/16 inches by 10 7/8 inches. “The shape will be more square,” she said in an e-mail.

Contributors to the magazine have also been informed of the cutback via a letter from editors, which hinted that shorter stories may be part of the change, according to sources. Marzorati would not comment on the letter.

“It is something I regret and would rather not have seen,” Marzorati said of the size reduction. “The company has to figure out lots of ways to save money.”

Recent data from the Magazine Publishers of America indicated the Times Magazine had seen a sharp reduction in ad pages during the first quarter of 2009, dropping 41%. That means a change from 858 pages during the first three months of 2008 to 505.5 pages during the first three months of 2009.

With the bankruptcy and government takeover of GM, along with the other problems in what was the free market, ad revenues aren’t likely to bounce back very soon, which will only add to the pressure the Times and other media outlets face as they struggle to stay alive.

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