Magazines. TI Media (the former Time Inc UK) is believed to be selling its 50% share of the UK edition of Marie Claire. The monthly magazine, which is jointly owned by the France-based Marie Claire Album, is believed to be loss-making. In 2017, European Magazines Ltd (publisher of Marie Claire in the UK) had £9.2m revenue (down 15% on 2016), with an operating loss of £300k, compared with £200k profit the previous year. The magazine’s revenue had fallen 26% in just two years and 40% since 2010. Its ABC audit shows that 35% of the 120k circulation in July-December 2018 comprised free copies. Marie Claire UK’s total circulation has fallen by 47% in the past five years.
Founded by Jean Prouvost (who also launched Paris Soir and Paris Match), Marie Claire was a weekly in 1937-9, when newsstand sales reached almost 1m copies. It was a magazine ahead of its time, combining fashion and beauty with serious and provocative journalism. It was revived as a monthly in October 1954 and, in the 1990s, claimed 29 international editions and an audience of more than 12m. Today, it is published in the US, Australia, Argentina, France as well as the UK.
The identity of the buyer of the UK edition is not known. But it is thought not to be Hearst (whose parent company publishes Marie Claire in the US). It is possible that the magazine is being acquired by Bauer which could merge or manage it with the UK edition of Grazia. The price is likely to be nominal.
TI Media, which last week confirmed the sale of music brands NME and Uncut to BandLab, of Singapore, is thought likely to conclude the sale of other magazines as it seeks to re-focus its broad portfolio on fewer markets, especially those with digital and events growth prospects.