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Manufacturing Indaba 2018

Cleo, Top Billing closing, new mag launching

Both Cleo and Top Billing magazines are set to go to print with their last editions, has confirmed. Meanwhile, Media24 will be launching an "international weekly news and fashion magazine".

Latest ABCs

As we reported recently, latest Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) figures revealed that, while copy sales for consumer magazines had remained static, compared to the same quarter of last year, copy sales in the woman's general interest category declined by 4% - among these titles were Cleo and Top Billing, with declines of 11% and 38% in year on year sales, respectively.

Top Billing publisher and managing editor Hayden Fortmann told Bizcommunity that Tswelopele Publishing will publish a bumper December/January holiday issue for the last issue of the magazine. It will include a 32-page gift guide and a celebrity wall calendar featuring SABC 3 and Top Billing personalities.

However, Fortmann says that there is the possibility of producing a quarterly version in 2012. "This will be outsourced to a publishing company with a number of magazines in it stable - for obvious economies of scale," says Fortmann.

"A digital platform is a must"

Cleo editor Natalie Pool says that, while it's been a "tough year for magazines in general, the lack of a digital platform [for Cleo] made it difficult for the magazine in an already tough industry."

At the time that Cleo launched, having a digital platform wasn't the norm for most titles, says Pool, and her advice to other magazines in the pipeline is to put a lot of marketing research into the title prior to launching.

"A digital platform is a must - I don't think magazines can survive anymore in just print format," she says.

Declined to comment

Meanwhile, Media24 Women's Interest has recently published several job alerts for editorial staff right here on Bizcommunity, specifically for an "international weekly news and fashion magazine" that will be based in Johannesburg.

Twitter has been rife with speculation that this will be the Italian glossy Grazia but Media24 GM Egbert de Waal declined to comment, saying, "As a policy we can unfortunately not comment on speculation or rumours."

About Roshila Jarosz: @Lipika777

Roshila Jarosz (neé Pillay) is a communications lackey by day, running a website and communications for an organisation, and by night a serial social networker and writer. She used to work as a journalist for various publications, including Elle magazine, the Mail & Guardian, Financial Mail Campus and the Sunday Independent, as well as other titles, before she sold out to corporates. Email her at and follow @Lipika777 on Twitter.