Magazine boss: We’ve been unfairly caught up in the story of newspapers’ decline

(l-r) Peter Zavec (Pac Mags), Nicole Sheffield (NewsLifeMedia), Matt Stanton (Bauer Media), Geoff Field (Publishers Australia)

(l-r) Peter Zavecz (Pac Mags), Nicole Sheffield (NewsLifeMedia), Matt Stanton (Bauer Media), Geoff Hird (Publishers Australia)

Pacific Magazines director Peter Zavecz said today that is unfair to lump magazines in the same category as newspapers, which are facing much bigger problems.

Speaking at the Mumbrella360 conference held in Sydney today, Zavecz said magazines have become caught up in the story of the decline of print.

“I think we’ve been unfairly lumped into a print bucket that’s in decline,” he said.

“With the press, we all know the challenges they face. It’s news. If you’ve got channels that can deliver news faster and more conveniently for people, they’re going to turn to it.

“Magazines are different. It’s curated content. Even some of our news is curated news. Magazines are a separate entity [to newspapers]. Magazines are a more engaging sort of format than newspapers.”

Zavecz was on a panel with Bauer Media CEO and Magazines Publishers chairman Matthew Stanton, NewsLifeMedia CEO Nichole Sheffield, Pacific Magazines director Peter Zavecz and Publishers Australia and publisher Westwick-Farrow media Geoff Hird.

The problem with being lumped in with the decline of newspapers comes from magazines’ failure to market itself effectively, the panellists suggested.

“We’re growing our audiences exceptionally well. What we’re not doing well is not telling people about that,” said Hird.

Zavecz added: “The audience story, combined with our cross-platform growth and engagement, are stories we haven’t effectively told to media buyers. It’s something that we have to address moving forward.”

During the panel discussion, Bauer’s Stanton defended weekly titles saying they are still strong.

“The weekly market is still very strong, though it has its challenges. It’s more about the genres to be honest. You’ve got to chose your frequencies depending on your genre.”

According to the most recent figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), weekly titles are struggling, with circulations for all titles declining in the first quarter.


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