1998 Media Report: Magazine Publishing

Efrem Zimbalist III
Times Mirror Magazines, Inc.

Although healthy by almost any traditional measure, the magazine publishing industry is currently playing out four recent trends. And the outcome will shape the future.

Consolidation – the gathering of magazine titles under fewer and larger corporate umbrellas – is the first trend or challenge. KIII(I like it better than Primedia), Petersen and now Miller are recently formed consolidators in the market. Add to these the existing major publishers who are actively making acquisitions (our own Times Mirror Magazines among them) and a list of foreign publishers anxious to crack the U.S. market, and you have the makings of a pretty dynamic implosion in the number of publishers.

The impact will be similar to that in other sectors of the economy. Suffice it to say that small independent publishers better be exceedingly good or they will go the way of corner hardware stores after Home Depot came to town.