Bauer suspends First and New Woman magazines

Bauer Consumer Media has axed two floundering women’s titles just weeks after taking control of the EMAP consumer magazine division. First, the weekly title, and monthly New Woman have been suspended and the company has started a month-long consultation with staff.

First, which was less than two years old, is the first casualty of the year in the tough weekly market. It was hoped that the circulation would reach between 150,000 and 200,000 but it was at just 106,000 in the Audit Bureau of Circulation figures for January to June 2007.

It was positioned as a smart weekly for 30- to 40-year-old, affluent women and the launch was supported by a £12m marketing campaign. First, which has been relaunched three times already, and was EMAP’s fifth launch in five years following Closer, Zoo and Grazia.

New Woman, which EMAP acquired 17 years ago, has been struggling in recent years. Its circulation plummeted by 45.3% year on year in the last ABC figures despite a relaunch in Decemeber 2006, where the magazine was renamed NW.

The last issue of First before the suspension will be on sale next Tuesday and New Woman’s April edition will also be published.

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