Nevertheless, it was a brave move by Anna Jones, the recently installed CEO of Hearst UK, to launch Town and Country last May, with circulations falling fast and the future of magazines looking ever more uncertain.
As a woman under the age of 40 at the top of an industry whose boardrooms are dominated by middle-aged men, Jones isn’t afraid of bucking trends. She tells The Guardian she thinks all Hearst’s UK magazines have a future in print: “I get frustrated that everybody talks about the print business in the same way and lumps magazines and newspapers together when they’re actually quite different beasts.
“We have quite a number of titles that are selling more year-on-year. I think all of our titles have a future in print.”
While it is true that some of Hearst’s best known British brands are experiencing rising circulations – including Good Housekeeping, Prima, Country Living, Women’s Health – other well-known ones are suffering sharp falls: Cosmo fell 8.97 per cent year-on-year last year. Jones says: “Certain areas of our business are impacted more than others by the newsstand decline. It broadly is the newsstand that is the challenged part for us. The weekly market is quite tough.”
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