MAGAZINE ABCs: Zoo and Nuts limp on but health titles grow

The men's traditional lads' titles continue their eye-watering falls, typified by weekly Zoo falling more than 32% on the year, but some of the lesser-known health titles offered some respite for publishers.

Men's Health: market-leading title is down 11.1% to 218,368
Men's Health: market-leading title is down 11.1% to 218,368

The latest round of magazine figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABCs) reveal some pockets of optimism, but for the most part, it is more doom and gloom across the traditional lads' mags titles.

Bauer-owned Zoo and IPC's Nuts were two of the biggest fallers, dropping respectively 32.1% to an average circulation of 54,318, and 22.5% to 114,019 on the year, as masses of readers deserted the printed products.

Zoo has shed around half of its readers in two years, while Nuts will be hoping its recent relaunch will help stymie its fall.

The lads mags monthly counterparts, such as Bauer-owned FHM, also continued to struggle. FHM, once a powerhouse for publisher Emap, now Bauer, reported a circulation of 155,557, down 19.2% on the year.

FHM will be hoping that incoming editor Joe Barnes, previously of Front magazine, will be able to turn the title's fortunes around.

Loaded, previously published by IPC, which sold it to Vitality, did not report an ABC figure, but the magazine recently axed its travel-sized issue.

There were rays of light for lifestyle publishers in the health sector, indicating that men's interest in health and fitness continues to grow.

Dennis Publishing-owned Men’s Fitness reported a year-on-year circulation uplift of 1.7% on the year to 69,264, while River Publishing’s Healthy For Men was up 7.4% to 60,499.

However, market-leading health title, Men’s Health, reported a circulation of 218,368, down 11.1% on the year.

The two upmarket men’s titles, GQ and Esquire, didn’t suffer any major moves either way, helped by men wanting their monthly intake of high-end culture.

GQ, published by Condé Nast, reported a circulation of 118,216, down 1.5% on the year . Hearst-owned Esquire nudged up 0.1% to 58,218.

Haymarket-owned gadget title Stuff reported a circulation of 80.130, down 6.1% on the year.

The free titles, ShortList and Sport, continue to be well-received. ShortList – whose columnists include Danny Wallace – recorded a distribution of  523,665 in the period, up 1.1% on the year.

Sport, published by UTV Media, reported a distribution of 306,217, up 0.2%. Condé Nast’s digital title Wires came in at 50,150, up 0.3% on the year.

Top 13 Men's Lifestyle Magazines
Title Publisher Jan - Jun Prd/prd Yr/yr
    2011 change change
Shortlist Shortlist Media
523,665 0.4% 1.1%
Sport UTV Media
306,217 -0.1% 0.2%
Men's Health Natmag Rodale  218,368 -11.2% -11.1%
FHM Bauer Consumer Media  155,557 -12.2% -19.2%
GQ Condé Nast Publications
118,216 -1.6% -1.5%
Nuts IPC Media
114,019 -19.8% -22.5%
Stuff Haymarket Consumer Media  80,130 -13.8% -6.1%
Men's Fitness Dennis Publishing
69,264 0.6% 1.7%
BBC Focus BBC Worldwide  66,454 -7.9% -9.7%
Healthy for Men River Publishing
60,499 0.8% 7.4%
Esquire Hearst Magazines UK  58,218 -2.0% 0.1%
Zoo Bauer Consumer Media  54,318 -20.8% -32.1%
Wired Condé Nast Publications
50,150 0.2% 0.3%

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