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Bauer confirms closure of Cleo as it refocuses on Dolly as a bi-monthly ‘digital first property’

cleo jan 2016Bauer Media has formally confirmed the closure of Cleo magazine in Australia, with the publisher to refocus its efforts on Dolly as a bi-monthly digital first property.

The final edition of Cleo will be the March edition on sale February 22.

Andreas Schoo, interim CEO of Bauer Media, said in a statement: “I would like to thank Lucy Cousins and all of the CLEO editorial team for their ongoing dedication to the magazine over the years.

“Scale, engagement and a robust digital strategy are key to our success and we believe we have a compelling offer in Dolly and Cosmopolitan to lead our young women’s portfolio into the future.

“Our investment plans for Dolly will see us take a digital first approach, with a focus on mobile video, social media and e-commerce supported by restructured print and digital editorial teams to ensure we are generating the best in market content for consumers; when and how they want it.

“Our always on approach will be complimented by a new look print product, taking Dolly from monthly to bi-monthly, relaunching as a high quality, valued-packed companion to the digital and social platforms, covering major trends, fashion, beauty and issues affecting young women today. 

“Bauer Media is committed to the Australian market and creating the most viable and effective portfolio of brands that connect with Australian women – be it online, in magazine or through live events.”

The Cleo Bachelor of the Year Awards will be relaunched as the Cosmo Bachelor Awards. Marketing for the new proposition is expected in the coming weeks.

Staff were told this morning via email, in which Schoo said it was not an easy decision to close the magazine.

“As you may be aware, we have made the decision to close Cleo magazine in Australia. It is never an easy decision to close a magazine and we have certainly considered all the options before coming to this conclusion; however in its current format, Cleo was no longer commercially sustainable for the longer term,” he said.

Lucy Cousins, editor-in-chief of the combined Cleo and Dolly editorial team, will not be staying on with the new Dolly editorial team. It is unclear if she will remain with Bauer.

Staff are currently being consulted on the changes with the new team structure expected to be revealed soon. There will no impact to the sales team as a result of the closure.

The confirmation follows on from the closure, revealed last week by News Corp.

Cleo, which is best known for its Cleo Bachelor of the Year Awards, posted a circulation decline of 20.7 per cent at the end of last year, with a circulation of 42,212. New figures are due to be released early next month.

Dolly posted a circulation of 40, 546 for the January to June period of last year, it was a decline of 19.1 per cent when compared with the same time the year before.

The closure does not impact Cleo Singapore, Malaysia or Indonesia.

Bauer Media will also continue to publish Cleo Thailand through its joint venture with Post International Media.

An announcement regarding Dolly editorial appointments will be made in the near future.

Staff email from Schoo:

Dear Staff

As you may be aware, we have made the decision to close CLEO magazine in Australia. It is never an easy decision to close a magazine and we have certainly considered all the options before coming to this conclusion; however in its current format, CLEO was no longer commercially sustainable for the longer term.

I would like to thank Lucy Cousins and all of the CLEO editorial team for their ongoing dedication to the magazine over the years.

We will also be announcing plans today to relaunch Dolly as a digital first property, with a focus on mobile video, social media and e-commerce supported by restructured print and digital editorial teams to ensure we are generating the best in market content for consumers; when and how they want it.

The year ahead will no doubt have its challenges, however there’s much to look forward to at Bauer Media in 2016, as we build upon the To Love digital women’s network that launched in 2015, and expand our 360-degree approach to content publishing.

I would like to reassure you that Bauer Media is 100% committed to growing its footprint in Australia, and we believe we have some of the most dynamic brands, along with the best people within our business to help us achieve this goal.

Regards
Andreas

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