by Geoffrey Precourt, US editor of WARC Online
SAN FRANCISCO: Whatever the formal program, the number one topic at this year's American Magazine Conference (AMC) will be the economy.

The event, which will be covered by WARC Online, takes place as publishers struggle to slow the accelerating decline in US magazine advertising revenue.

According to the Publishers Information Bureau, US magazine advertising revenue was down 3.1 per cent year on year in the first half of 2008. The second quarter drop was 4.7 per cent and publishers compare the downturn to that of the early 1990s, partly hoping to evoke the rebound of that era which currently appears distant.

In a letter to delegates, AMC chair Michela O'Connor Abrams warned that magazine brands were being “challenged on many fronts – economically and technologically to name two”.

Ms O'Connor Abrams promised that the event, jointly sponsored by the Magazine Publishers' Association and the American Society of Magazine Editors, would be “all business… No BS. No “been there/done that” sessions.”

Speakers from Facebook, Meredith Corporation, Time, Hearst, IDG and others will cover topics such as profiting from online audiences, new business models and what makes great magazine advertising.

The event runs from October 5 to 7 and you can read full coverage here.

WARC special report