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Popular Mechanics defies the downturn

Science and technology magazine Popular Mechanics has defied the "print-is-dead" doomsayers by actually increasing its paid circulation in the first quarter of 2014.
The latest ABC results, announced in Johannesburg on Wednesday, reveal that PM's first-quarter sale of 43,992 beat the final quarter of 2013 by more than 4,700 copies - a performance that editor Alan Duggan describes as "very encouraging in a relentlessly tough environment".

The magazine is also slightly up on the corresponding period in 2013, while two other titles in the male-interest category plummeted by 16,000 and 6,000 copies respectively. Publisher Neil Piper, who added PM to his portfolio last month (he is also publisher of CAR and Leisure Wheels), said: "Our recent acquisition by Caxton has opened up new and exciting opportunities in the print world as well as in the digital space, where we are already exploring synergies. The latest circulation numbers suggest that our wealthy and responsive audiences still enjoy our quality content, which remains key to the success of every brand in our stable."

Other RamsayMedia titles have also performed well, according to the latest ABCs. Flagship title CAR (71,916) is 4,7 per cent up on the previous quarter, Leisure Wheels (19,461) has grown by 6,3 per cent, Compleat Golfer (8,768) achieved a growth of 17,6 per cent, travel magazine Getaway (43,610) is up by 14,1 per cent and Ride (10,755) has boosted its circulation by a formidable 33 per cent.

  • Popular Mechanics has announced plans for its FutureTech 2014 conference, an event forming part of the official World Design Capital Cape Town 2014 programme. The conference and its associated Inventor of the Year competition has been underwritten by Autodesk, a US-based multinational provider of 3D CAD software. The magazine is also planning a number of precursor events under the banner of "Altered Realities" - theme for its wide-ranging activities during 2014. For more information, visit

Posted on 16 May 2014 08:24