Marie Claire UK to cease print publication after 31 years
Women’s title will continue online and overseas print editions are unaffected
The UK edition of Marie Claire is to cease publication after 31 years as the monthly women’s title joins a growing list of magazines that have succumbed to the shift to digital reading.
A version of the magazine – which is published by TI Media, the owner of titles including Country Life and Wallpaper – will continue online. The company, formerly known as Time Inc, has entered into consultation with the approximately 35 members of staff affected by the closure.
Marcus Rich, the chief executive of TI Media, said: “For more than three decades, Marie Claire UK has led the conversation on the issues that really matter to women, from campaigning for women’s empowerment to climate change, while providing a premium fashion and beauty positioning that reflects their everyday lives.”
The company, which operates the UK edition of the magazine through a joint venture with Marie Claire Album, will focus on moving the publication’s website into areas including Marie Claire Edit, a shopping platform that aggregates partners including Farfetch, Net-a-Porter, Selfridges, Topshop and Asos.
In June, the fashion retailer Next bought the online premium beauty and wellbeing retailer Fabled, a joint venture between Marie Claire and Ocado.
The closure of the UK print edition does not affect Marie Claire in other markets where it continues to be published, such as Australia, Argentina, France and the US.
TI Media pulled Marie Claire UK from the most recent Audit Bureau of Circulations figures, covering the period from January to June.
The previous available figures, for the final six months of last year, show the magazine had an average circulation of 120,000 per edition. However, almost 35% of those copies were given away.
The British edition of Marie Claire was launched in 1988 and set itself apart from other titles as the “thinking woman’s magazine”, mixing serious features with fashion and beauty. The magazine’s former editors blazed an early trail on topical women’s issues. Marie Claire UK was the first glossy women’s magazine to win a second Amnesty Media Award – it has won four in total – for a report on Rape as a Weapon of War in the Congo.
Liz Jones, editor from 1999 to 2001, was fired after speaking out against being forced to use bulimic models. Jones, who in more recent years has been a contestant on Celebrity Big Brother, has worked at the Sunday Times, Evening Standard and, most recently, as a columnist for the Mail on Sunday’s You magazine.
Marie O’Riordan, editor from 2001 to 2009, was the first to put a man on the cover when she invited David Beckham to be photographed and interviewed in 2002.
And Glenda Bailey, editor from 1988 to 1996, made the, at the time, rare transatlantic shift for a magazine editor, especially a woman, to edit the US edition of Marie Claire until 2001. She was a forerunner to the likes of British-born Joanna Coles, who moved from newspapers to join Marie Claire in the US, under licence to Hearst, and then ultimately to become one of Hearst’s top editorial executives as editor of Cosmopolitan.
Sam Finlay, the chief revenue officer at TI Media, said: “We will still operate with a focus on news and key topics, from climate change to issues top of the agenda with women which Marie Claire has held the torch. The essence of the brand is important. Marie Claire will never be pigeon-holed into just fashion and beauty.”
TI Media is one of the biggest magazine publishers in the UK, with more than 50 titles, including Horse & Hound and Woman’s Weekly.
The magazine market has become increasingly tough as readers turn to digital media, where Google and Facebook dominate online advertising.
Earlier this year, TI Media closed the print edition of the celebrity gossip title Now, a mainstay of the weekly magazine sector since launching in 1996.
In March 2018, TI Media shut NME as a print publication after 66 years to focus on its reinvention as a weekly digital franchise. However, a little over a year later, TI Media sold the title to the Singapore-based music media company BandLab Technologies, along with the rock magazine Uncut.
TI Media is looking to streamline its portfolio of titles after being acquired for £130m by the private equity group Epiris in February last year.
At the time of the acquisition, Chris Hanna, a partner at Epiris, said the company would bring “clarity and simplicity” to focus on the most profitable titles.
In 2017, rival Condé Nast decided to cut the print edition of the fashion title Glamour, one of the biggest sellers in the UK, to twice a year in a shift to a digital-first strategy.