ACP to close FHM

After weeks of speculation, FHM magazine is to close, ACP has announced.

Redundancies are likely as a result.

The May issue will be its last, and the website will also be shut on the day the title is taken off the shelves.

The news comes just a month after the title saw its circulation drop by a half in the last round of ABCs.

A statement from the publisher read:

ACP Magazines today announced it will produce the final print edition of Australian men’s monthly magazine, FHM.

The May cover-date issue will be the last print edition while the website fhm.com.au will close when that issue goes off-sale on May 13th.

ACP Magazines is endeavouring to redeploy employees, however some redundancies are expected.

“The decision to close a title is never an easy one and FHM is certainly no exception,” said Matt Stanton, CEO, ACP Magazines. “FHM is a terrific brand but, given the current market conditions, it has been difficult for ACP to make it a commercially viable proposition.”

Launched in Australia by EMAP in 1998, FHM was at the forefront of the ‘lads monthlies’ phenomenon that first exploded in the United Kingdom. Its main rival in Australia was RALPH, launched by ACP Magazines in 1997.

The two titles enjoyed impressive circulation and readership for several years until the arrival of new category entries – most notably the launch of Zoo as a weekly in 2006 which, along with cross-category men’s magazines such as Top Gear and Men’s Health, steadily eroded both FHM and RALPH’s share of the category.

After acquiring the licence to publish FHM through the acquisition of EMAP Australia in 2008, ACP Magazines refined and repositioned the title as a more upmarket offering – and with great success, as the title enjoyed record advertising revenue in its October and November issues that same year.

The shifting tastes of young male readers, and the global economic downturn, forced the closure ofRALPH in June 2010, and while FHM has battled on, it has struggled to hold its circulation.

Matt Stanton paid tribute to the FHM team for its ongoing commitment to the brand.

“The editorial and advertising teams have done a remarkable job putting out a product that is as good, if not better, than the issues produced during FHM’s glory days,” he said. “What’s more, they have done so in much tougher economic times and in the face of constant media speculation over the magazine’s future. They can all hold their heads high, in spite of their obvious and understandable disappointment.”

FHM – now owned by German company, Bauer Media Group – is published in 21 territories, including China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Latvia, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, the Philippines, Romania and the United Kingdom.

Comments


  1. Paul
    15 Mar 12
    6:39 pm

  2. Sad news but expected, wish all the team there all the best in finding new roles.

  3. Michael Downs
    15 Mar 12
    6:44 pm

  4. Men’s Health? Top Gear? The #1 reason FHM saw such a massive circ decline, particularly in the last 9 months, is because of MAXIM. It’s the only direct comptetitor FHM has and actually shoots local celebrities (Ricki-Lee, Ruby Rose, Sophie Monk, Jennifer Hawkins, etc) and deals with local modelling agencies. That’s what Australian men want.

  5. Michael Downs
    15 Mar 12
    6:54 pm

  6. … Having said that, it’s never good to see a mag close. Some great, talented guys work on FHM.

  7. Malcolm Turnbull
    15 Mar 12
    7:07 pm

  8. You only have to look at intelligent publications like ‘smith journal’ to realise that we (men) are no longer only responsive to tits and ass but instead ideas that stimulate creative thinking/reading and doing.

  9. Ben
    15 Mar 12
    7:14 pm

  10. Let’s play spot the Maxim sales rep…

  11. Secret Men's Business
    15 Mar 12
    7:46 pm

  12. Michael, that comment of yours is short sighted and shows you lack knowledge of the men’s mag market. How many audited copies does Maxim actually sell ? Not many I am sure and it will never get near Top Gears audit let alone what FHM sold in the glory years……the clients in maxim are few and far between too.
    The problem with men’s mags is a global one and FHM closing confirms that Australia is on the same path as the UK. Lads mags are a thing of the past and consumers of these titles have moved on to other methods of entertainment…,.maxim will be next to shut as FHM closing will hurt it a lot.

  13. Ian Evitable
    15 Mar 12
    8:13 pm

  14. Porn can be found online; soft as you like.

    Gadgets can be found on Cnet

    Jokes; everybody has heard them and shares them socially online.

    Not a surprise at all(.)

    Good luck to the team finding new roles!!

  15. Ouch
    15 Mar 12
    8:19 pm

  16. Porn is free on the internet all day everyday. No surprise is it really?

  17. Lach Hall
    15 Mar 12
    8:34 pm

  18. Not sure whether it was MAXIM either Michael. Pretty sure aussie guys found a more convenient way to get their fix of titillating images…

  19. Mankind
    15 Mar 12
    9:16 pm

  20. Booooo!

  21. neil ridgway
    15 Mar 12
    9:30 pm

  22. Wouldn’t have happened in my day!

  23. John B
    15 Mar 12
    10:24 pm

  24. For someone who hacked away on it for seven-odd years, very sad to see the old dame slip under the waves. But probably best to be euthanised save for people keep saying nasty things about you.

    Ultimately, the blame needs be laid squarely on these accursed young people with their i-thingys. They simply don’t appreciate how cool monthly print magazines are and ‘lad’ ‘umour that hasn’t progressed much past Loaded circa 1994.

    Anyways, my best wishes to the incumbent staff. And enjoy the wake (just don’t invite me. I get all blubbery at those sorts of things after a few.)

    Vale (do you say that after a magazine closes? I’d have no idea.)

  25. Mag Man
    16 Mar 12
    7:52 am

  26. Michael, your comment doesn’t even make sense when there’s an Aussie celebrity on the cover of the magazine in this story above, and the mag doing the rounds on the newspaper websites today has Sophie Monk on the cover.

    Maxim? Please. I’d rather spend $36 a month on buying UK GQ and Esquire.. Two magazines well above anything we produce locally.

  27. S
    16 Mar 12
    8:13 am

  28. John, ha! I worked on it too and am also sad to see it go. Chins up, FHMers, ya done good.

  29. Daniel
    16 Mar 12
    9:05 am

  30. http://blogs.theaustralian.new.....im_leaked/

    Coincidental self promotion?

  31. JC
    16 Mar 12
    10:16 am

  32. JB, I’m with ya, good times hacking away with you in the Emap days. Re Maxim, many of their staff are ex Ralph or FHM. Its ad count suggests it probably didn’t damage FHM as much as ‘the times’, the interwebs and maybe FHM’s little bro (being cheaper and a weekly) in Zoo..

  33. GG
    16 Mar 12
    10:26 am

  34. As an ex- advertiser in FHM I believe EMAP did a great job with the content – let’s put aside the tits and arse for a second because it’s tuff for a print mag to compete with online these days (in that capacity). That being said, FHM actually used to be quite a funny and entertaining read (oh that old chestnut) no, seriously, it was.

    Then along came ACP who took the helm, not necessarily a bad thing but a change of publisher saw FHM die a slow and painful death because they homogenised it to within an inch of its life –it lost personality – they mind-numingly dullerised it. To rephrase Matt Stanton’s quote “…. it WAS a terrific brand.”

    I gifted my man an FHM sub this year and after an issue or two, I swapped titles (at his request) because it was so painfully awful. FHM became what is Victoria to our Australia – the nanny state.

  35. jean cave
    16 Mar 12
    10:46 am

  36. I suppose modern man . . the ones who need titillation that is . . don’t even need to see a real women anymore anywayz. The universal boiled-down simulacrum made up of red lipstick, lacy undies and super high heels should do it.
    I hope all the misplaced find other work though.

  37. Shane
    16 Mar 12
    10:49 am

  38. ACP’s Matt Stanton says in his press release: “The editorial and advertising teams have done a remarkable job…”

    No they haven’t. Ever since ACP inherited FHM they’ve stuffed it up, botched the marketing, the advertising, the editorial direction…. Which is proven by advertisers leaving it in droves and the circulation plummeting over 80%. And it now being dead.

    Mr Stanton would do well to examine the facts. Perhaps write a book titled “How to destroy a world leading brand” even.

  39. AR
    16 Mar 12
    11:53 am

  40. Kinda sad to see a part of Emap go… Well done for everyone who worked on FHM – provided some fun times for us Ex Emap Workers

  41. Guns
    16 Mar 12
    12:08 pm

  42. Having worked on the brand and its brother publication ZOO Weekly in the heady EMAP days: tis a sad day indeed for what was a fantastic publication and it goes to show you what mass publishers, more focused on the bottom line than the brand itself can do to any magazine, no matter its strength and following.
    The online component should have been built, pushed and paired from the start of ACP’s reign, not sold and marketed as separate entities.

  43. IC
    16 Mar 12
    1:28 pm

  44. ACP reportedly (B&T) paid $94m for EMAP when it’s turnover was $66m and Profit $2m. Why did they pay so much except out of stupidity? They were going to turn Zoo Weekly from a loss to a “huge” profit as the monthly men’s mags were dying around the globe. Re Maxim….Felix Dennis launched Maxim in US and UK and was sensible enough to sell out years ago.

  45. TS
    16 Mar 12
    2:34 pm

  46. Hello Michael Downs and MAXIM – seems like you have gone a bit quiet. Any confirmation yet on when MAXIM will be audited?

    hello……….?

  47. Johnny
    16 Mar 12
    6:10 pm

  48. I’m sad to see it go. Working in the magazine industry I know how much tougher the market has become in the last 5 years. I always thought FHM was a brilliantly designed magazine but I can see why perfect bound ‘Lad’s Mags’ are slowly disappearing from our shelves…

  49. Nick B
    17 Mar 12
    9:31 am

  50. Ah yes … hard to believe it’s been a decade since those epic battles with Ralph! Good to see some old colleagues on the post. Fun times.