As a matter of fact, these magazines are beginning to look more like me. Emaciated.
You don't need crop circles to see the signs for food and travel magazines:
- Nobody's eating out these days. You have to be half nuts to open a restaurant and if you do, it had better be cheap eats.
- You can find recipes on the web about as frequently as bad financial advice.
- Airlines have cut back dramatically with flights and closed down unprofitable routes because people don't have money to travel.
- Hotels built up and expanded so much that by the time the economy slammed on the brakes, there was a glut of rooms everywhere.
So who are the likely candidates? The usual rules can certainly apply in these categories.
If you believe in the Reaper's Third In A Category Rule, then National Geographic Traveler may be sailing into the sunset with the Reaper at the mast. They are already carrying half the ad pages of the first and second titles.
If you believe in the Reaper's Rule of Redundancy, then Conde Nast is going to be closing either Gourmet or Bon Appetit. The market will not bear two food magazines produced from one company.
If American Express really wants to tighten its belt, it could play musical titles by merging Travel + Leisure with Food & Wine to create Travel + Food? Wine & Leisure? How about Travel + Leisure + Food + Wine?