Condé Nast Portfolio has ended its short but dramatic run. The May issue, out now, will be the last for the glossy business magazine.
Launched with much fanfare in May 2007, Portfolio has published only 21 issues. As of December 31, total paid and verified circulation was 449,005 — 12.3% higher than its rate base of 400,000. However, ad pages were down significantly this year, thanks to the slumping economy.
“The pressures and realities of the continuous deep economic slump have lowered Portfolio’s revenue projections below what is needed to continue publication,” Charles Townsend, president and CEO of Condé Nast, said in a statement about the closing. “Portfolio was an ambitious and innovative magazine and Web site, and we were proud to publish them. The challenges facing this launch however proved too great.
“Joanne Lipman is an extraordinarily skillful editor, and William Li is a very talented publisher,” he continued. “We thank them and their staffs for their tremendous efforts. It is unfortunate we were unable to give Portfolio the time needed to fully mature.”
The Publisher’s Information Bureau reports that Portfolio’s ad pages for Q1 2009 were down 60.9% from Q1 of the previous year, sinking from 168.98 to just 66.05.
Falling ad pages might have proven the final straw for Townsend, but Portfolio had hit other bumps along its way, including a frequency and staff cut in October 2008. The magazine cut its frequency from 12 issues a year to 10 in October and much of the Portfolio.com staff was laid off. Portfolio also saw some sniping from the blogosphere over its choice of cover subjects: Sarah Palin in the April 2009 issue, and American Apparel founder Dov Charney in an issue that came out at the height of the financial meltdown.
The Portfolio.com Web site will be shuttered for good in the second half of this year. Condé Nast also has shuttered Men’s Vogue and Golf for Women in the last 12 months. A spokesperson for Condé Nast did not return requests for comment as of press time.