SpongeBob's still a hit on the screen but a dud on the newsstand
Viacom is shutting down Nickelodeon Magazine this week and will lay off about 30 staffers. Launched in 1993, the magazine, with a circulation of more than 1 million and a total audience of more than 6 million, was for many years an important promotional platform for the children's cable network and provided a steady stream of cash. The magazine even once was a National Magazine Award finalist and also led to a few spin-off products.
But like other magazines, Nickelodeon has suffered from the double whammy of more of its audience going to the Internet (darn those early adapters) and a prolonged advertising slump. Although the cable network remains dominant, the value the magazine provided as a marketing tool for it had faded over the last few years.
So remember, next time you take your kids to the doctor's office, bring reading material with you.
-- Joe Flint