Iconic SA magazines to fold as Caxton pulls the plug

By ERNEST MABUZA

Caxton and CTP Publishers & Printers on Tuesday said it had decided, in principle, to close its magazine division. This affects at least 10 magazines, some of which are household names in SA that have been in circulation for decades.

The board said on Tuesday it had begun withdrawing from magazine publishing and associated businesses.

The titles affected are Bona, Country Life, Essentials, Food & Home, Garden & Home, People, Rooi Rose, Vrouekeur, Woman & Home and Your Family.

The board said the steady and continuous reduction in advertising spend in the magazine sector as well as the decline in circulation revenues had, over a number of years, significantly reduced the viability of the magazine business.

“Further, the negative impact of the recent Covid-19 lockdown on general economic activity and, as a consequence, on the ability of the business to trade normally in what were already difficult trading conditions for magazine publishers, has made this decision unavoidable.”

The company said the Covid-19 lockdown had seen a significant downscaling of activities by all of the group’s clients. The high level of cancellations of advertising in the period leading up and over the lockdown had already had a major impact on trading.

It said this was worsened by the concern that this revenue will be permanently lost and will place serious extra pressure on the magazine business and the group as a whole.

“As such, the significantly reduced revenue exacerbated by the potential long-term impacts of Covid-19, combined with reducing circulations, are insufficient to sustain the business in the short and long term.”

In view of these challenges, the group had decided in principle to close its magazine division.

The board said the company was in the process of consulting its employees. The group was also keen to engage with any other parties and publishers who would be interested in taking over any of its titles.

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