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Bauer Media to shut Zoo Weekly

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 4.51.43 PMBauer Media is closing its struggling Zoo Weekly lads mag and website amid crumbling sales.

The publisher said the October 12 issue will be the magazine’s last, with Bauer blaming “tough retail conditions in the men’s market”.

“Bauer has made the call to close Zoo’s operations. I would like to thank the teams here at Bauer, as well as the advertisers and retailers who have supported the brand,” Bauer CEO David Goodchild said.

Ewen Page, associate publisher for Bauer’s men’s & specialist titles, added:  “The staff has done a great job on Zoo Weekly over the years and I commend their work and thank them for their dedication and effort. It is not an easy decision to close a magazine and we have certainly considered all options before coming to this conclusion.”

The closure of Zoo includes the print edition, website and social media content. The move comes just six months after Bauer reopened Zoo’s website after previously “retiring” it.

The print title’s demise is unlikely to be met with surprise within the industry though. Sales collapsed in recent years with Bauer withdrawing the title from the ABC circulation auditing figures in May.

The final quarter of 2014 saw a huge 36 per cent decline in sales to just 24,122 copies sold.

At the time, Bauer rejected suggestions Zoo had been pulled from the audit to avoid ongoing scrutiny over its crumbling circulation or that the publisher was on the verge of axing the struggling magazine. A spokesman said it was withdrawn simply because it was the only publication of its type in the audit and therefore “could not benchmark itself against any other comparative title”.

Zoo Weekly has also incurred the wrath of protest groups who claimed the content promoted a “rape culture”.

Coles last month said it would remove Zoo Weekly from its magazine range with lobby group Collective Shout heralding the move as a win for its campaign urging the supermarket, and rival Woolworths, to ditch the title.

Steve Jones

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