Bauer Media is closing its 22-year-old men’s monthly glossy magazine title Arena.
It is understood that the closure, which was announced this morning (Tues March 3), will affect around 12 editorial and sales staff. A four week consultation process with affected staff has begun.
The April issue out next week is likely to be the last edition.
The publisher says the title’s bi-annual fashion offshoot magazine Homme Plus will continue, as will the international editions of Arena, currently published via partnership deals in Ukraine, Turkey, Denmark; Korea, Thailand and Singapore.
Arena was launched in 1986 by Wagadon, which was enjoying huge success with its style monthly The Face at the time. It was bought in 1999 by Emap Consumer magazines, which were subsequently acquired by Bauer in 2007.
The title’s circulation has been falling for years. Despite seeing a 16.4 per cent year-on-year increase in the latest ABCs, it was starting from a low base so only achieved 29,374, a fraction of rivals such as stablemate FHM which recorded a 272,545 in the same period.
The latest ABC audit also reveals the title only sold less than half its recorded circulation full price at news stand.
The closure is the latest bad news to emerge from an industry struggling against an economic downturn induced advertising slump. Natmags recently announced it intends to cut 15% of its UK workforce, and is currently in consultation with staff.