South African publisher of Cosmopolitan to close shop from 1 May

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Getty
Getty

Associated Media Publishing, the publisher of Cosmopolitan, House & Leisure, Good Housekeeping and Women on Wheels, is closing its doors permanently on Friday 1 May because of the "devastating" impact of Covid-19, which has resulted in the closure of printing and distribution channels.

"This is the most difficult decision I have ever had to make," the publisher's CEO, Julia Raphaely, said in a statement released on Thursday. "We never thought this day would come, but we are left with no choice."

Associated Media Publishing was launched in 1982 by magazine publishing doyenne Jane Raphaely, who later handed over the reins to her daughter Julia.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic there has been a global plunge in advertising spending. Media companies have also not been able to earn money from hosting events. 

Professor of economics at University of Stellenbosch and chair of Media24, Rachel Jafta, said the closure of AMP was a wholly negative development for mainstream media in South Africa, at a time when the industry had already been struggling for years.

"This is an international trend that's affecting markets in the United States and Europe. Because of the current economic climate, it has been made worse. The market for print media that they relied on is suddenly disappearing. The situation for the magazines is more severe than it is for newspapers," said Jafta.

Jafta said while the closure of AMP was immediately unfortunate for its brands and employees, it was also a harbinger of market difficulties that may affect other media houses in the near future.

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