Cosmo and Cleo: more pages, less of them sealed

Cleo sealed section loses seal of approval
Cosmo editor, Bronwyn McCahon and Cleo editor, Sarah Oakes

It’s an interesting week in mag-land. The new fashion weekly Grazia launched yesterday. But it’s funny, since leaving mags and being forced to (gasp, shock, horror) BUY them, I’ve found myself little interested. I buy nothing now. Except Vanity Fair and Who.

And in news from my old stomping ground, ACP (who publish Cleo and Cosmo), Cleo have announced they are losing the sealed section. The new editor, Sarah Oakes (brunette, above) who used to edit Girlfriend and is a very smart and talented girl, says “All the sex content Cleo is known for will still be in there. Just without the perforation.’

Meanwhile, at Cosmo, Bronwyn McCahon (also very smart and
exceptionally talented) who was once my PA and is now my close friend,
has announced Cosmo will be giving readers more pages – with the
average issue up from 200-300 pages. ``This generation coming through is `generation-free stuff’. So we’ll be giving them the same cover price, more Cosmo.”
It’s tough times in mag land. According to the story in The Australian:

Cleo has long been the ugly sister in ACP’s portfolio to
Cosmopolitan, with both targeting the same market of 18 to 25-year-old
women. Both titles did poorly in 2007, but Cleo fared worst, with
readership dropping by 25 per cent to 517,000 and sales by 11 per cent
to about 160,000.
Cosmo’s readership declined by 14 per cent to 694,000 and its sales by more than 13 per cent to about 175,000
.

I don’t envy these editors – or any editors – their task of luring
young women away from the internet and their phones and all the other
ways they’re now entertaining themselves – time and money that used to
be spent on mags. The whole idea of a sealed section, or any sex
content in magazines, is kind of twee in an age when in two clicks and
for free, you can access more sex information that you could possibly
ever want or need.
I send Bron and Sarah luck and love in their bid to stem the tide.

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