Teen People Falls to Pressures Facing Its Peers

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Time Inc.'s decision to suspend publication of Teen People's print edition may run parallel to trends in the U.S. teen market.

Though the New York publisher declined comment, published reports claimed that failing circulation and ad revenue were reasons for Teen People's withdrawal from print -- but not online -- with next month's issue.

"It's becoming more and more difficult for teen magazines, particularly those devoted to celebrities, to compete for attention," said Martin Walker, chairman of publishing firm Walker Communications, New York. "The Internet, iPods, blogging and sites like MySpace.com are much more seductive, interactive and immediate than a monthly print product."

Teen People has a circulation rate base of 1.45 million and reaches 14 million readers monthly. The typical reader is a 16-year-old girl, but ages range from 12 to 24.

"Like the rest of the country, teens are now looking for visuals to learn and enjoy," said Samir "Mr. Magazine" Husni, chair, professor and Hederman lecturer at the University of Mississippi. "We are no longer an auditory society, and if the adult attention span in this country is less than three seconds, what can one say about the teens?"

The Teen People magazine and Web site launched in 1998 after the success of People magazine. The publication's suspension follows the announcement of Hachette Filipacchi Media closing its Elle Girl magazine while retaining the site at www.ellegirl.com.

"Teens adore celebs and they look at them as their role models, but rather than waiting for a month and paying almost $4 to buy a monthly magazine, they can now get their info faster, quicker and cheaper than a monthly magazine," Mr. Husni said. "Teens only think of the now, and the celeb weeklies give them that."

Teenpeople.com averages 650,000 visitors and 11 million page views monthly.

Time Inc. is said to be evaluating opportunities for Teen People's subscriber lists and other assets. It also will place Teen People magazine employees within other Time Inc. publications.

"A smaller, more entrepreneurial company than Time Inc. probably could have made a go of Teen People," Mr. Walker said, "but at Time Inc. the size and scope of the magazine combined with corporate allocations undoubtedly assigned to it presumably didn't make sense."

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