Australian Anthill closes its print edition

Australian Anthill, the magazine for business entrepeneurs, has closed its print edition and will instead focus on occasional one-offs and its online product.  

The title, aimed at small and growing businesses, was launched by James Tuckerman nearly six years ago.

In a message to subscribers Tuckerman said:

“This year, our evolution has continued, heavily influenced by the state of the economy and reader migration online – forcing us to question our identity and plans for the future.

“Anthill has always prided itself on its ability to embrace change – we are advocates of change – despite the hardship, cynicism, criticism and just plain confusion that change causes. This is one of those occasions.

“Of course, we also can guess what you’re thinking. No, we cannot deny that economic factors have played a role in our decision.

“But we also have a larger vision for the future of Anthill, as part of our ongoing desire to support and promote innovation and entrepreneurship in Australia, and this has required an adjustment of our priorities.

“We love print magazines. But change is in our nature.

“To all our print subscribers, I hope that you will greet this news not as sad tidings but with the optimism we feel embarking on our next chapter and that you will help us continue to pursue the goals we were founded on: To promote and support innovation and entrepreneurship in Australia (irrespective of the channel).”

At time of posting, Tuckerman wasn’t immediately available. But in February – as the magazine moved from bimonthly to quarterly and boosted its web offering, he told Mumbrella print magazines were facing an “extinction level event“.

Judging from the comment thread under Tuckerman’s message, his move has been met with understanding from readers and rivals.

One subscriber posted: “The more I think about it the more it makes sense to me. You have done this with transparency and integrity. This is a lesson in moving on and getting in line with the ‘digital natives’ really and you’ve taken us on that jouney. Thanks also for the insight into what’s been going on behind the scenes it’s put it into some more perspective.”

And Jen Bishop, the editor of Dynamic Business, another magazine in the same space, added: “When I started editing Dynamic Business, I started checking out the other mags in the space and Anthill blew me away. It was different, well written, full of great info and took risks. The Anthill story is an inspiring one to anyone working in publishing, and it’s not over. I have no doubt that Anthill (which I’ve always viewed as more of a community than just a magazine) will continue to evolve online.”

Tuckerman’s story – he moved back in with his parents to afford to launch the magazine –  featured as a case study on The ABC’s Inside Business:


  1. C K Cash
    24 Jul 09
    3:15 pm

  2. That’s a shame…but the website and daily email newsletters are good.

  3. Carl Lindgren
    24 Jul 09
    4:24 pm

  4. Very sad to hear the news indeed. I don’t think it spells the death of all magazines though. map magazine has successfully remained in the Brisbane metropolitan market for 10 years this year against the force of News Ltd’s world. Whilst it is not easy. it’s not over! Maybe publicity is what we need as in 10 years it has never been covered in any media (except for 80 words in B&T nine years ago).

  5. James Tuckerman
    24 Jul 09
    4:28 pm

  6. Sorry that I missed your call Tim.

    It’s been a busy week (as you can imagine).

    There’s not much more I can say, other than we are really excited about our largely ‘digital’ future.

    Ad hoc print editions will be designed to delight and inspire, while our daily posts and email newsletters will keep our readers up to date with news, opinions and advice.

    While many of the older publishing houses still deride and even fear largely online models (did someone say ‘Hartigan’?), most modern media punters already understand that ‘Times… they are a changin’.

    And no one should need the wisdom of a Morgan Stanley intern to know that – just an afternoon reading Mumbrella posts.

    Keep up the good work educating and informing the marketing industry about the benefits of digital media. I’m sure the best is yet to come.

  7. Kate Kendall
    24 Jul 09
    5:27 pm

  8. Sad news James, but I’m looking forward to seeing Anthill Online grow further and further into exciting corners of the globe via this beautiful vessel called the web.

    I still champion the tangibility of print, as do many others, but in our space digital-only offerings do flourish.

    One thing I do recommend for aspiring journalists, however, is to look into online editing and online content producing – it really is where it’s at. 😉


    Kate Kendall
    Online editor – Marketing magazine

  9. KimberleyL
    27 Jul 09
    9:57 am

  10. Congratulations on the move to digital. The propensity for more interactive and web 2.0 content will bring great value for Anthill Online readers. Have been enjoying the e-news so far and looking foward to seeing the content James will bring to Anthill Online now that it is dedicated to being a digital mag.