The Non-Advertising Age

The weekly trade magazine Advertising Age—like all the rest of us!—is having a little trouble with, well, advertising.

But the magazine is doing something not everyone is doing: cutting down the number of issues it prints per year from a 2006 high of 50 down to 43 or 44.

At many publications, this budget savings wouldn’t do the trick. Even as newspapers like the Seattle Post-Intelligencer pursue online-only strategies, other publications are finding themselves too strapped for cash to give up print advertising space that generates revenue.

In the case of Ad Age, it wasn’t generating enough.

“Oh, yeah, without doubt,” said Jonah Bloom, editor of Ad Age. “Yes, without a doubt. I’m not trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Any issue we’re eliminating is an economic issue.”

“We’ll reduce the printing and distribution overhead rather than making reductions in the newsroom,” he said.

The magazine laid off four people before Christmas, but all came on the publishing side. He said no layoffs were made in the newsroom. Update, March 19, 1:00 PM: Layoffs at Advertising Age: Editor Jonah Bloom Explains.

Mr. Bloom, who is on the front lines in covering the decline in marketing and advertising for media, said the environment out there is as brutal as it looks from the outside.

“It’s pretty horrible,” said Mr. Bloom “If a publication loses 50 or 60 percent versus last year, that’s half your revenue that disappeared! A great quote from someone I was talking to the other day said I’m just kind of hoping if I can get to 15 or 20 percent down, I’ll be somewhere in the middle of the pack. You know what I mean? It’s pretty serious. In our case, we feel like we’ve built a number of non-print-ad-related revenue streams.”

Mr. Bloom said that if the economy turns around, Ad Age might be able to publish 45 issues this year. We wish him luck.

The Non-Advertising Age