Biz magazine performance better, but still down in first quarter

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TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

Business magazines continued to see their advertising revenue and pages decline in the first three months of the year, but at a slower pace than in 2009, according to an analysis of Publishers Information Bureau data by Talking Biz News.

The sector also performed better than the overall magazine industry

The 14 business magazines reported a decline 7.7 percent in ad pages for the quarter. That compares to a 9.4 percent decline for the overall magazine industry. (The data excludes ad pages from Conde Nast Portfolio and Fortune Small Business, both of which closed in the past year.)

In comparison, ad pages declined in business magazines by 28.7 percent in 2009.

The publications that performed the best included Inc., which saw a 17.8 percent increase in ad revenue and a 15.4 percent increase in ad pages, and Wired, which reported a 20.1 percent increase in ad revenue and an 11.2 percent rise in ad pages.

Fast Company reported a 16.9 percent increase in ad revenue and a 10.5 percent in ad pages, while Barron’s reported a 13.3 percent jump in ad revenue and a 7.5 percent increase in ad pages.

The worst performing business magazines during the quarter were the big three — Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Forbes and Fortune.

BusinessWeek reported a 17.8 percent decline in ad revenue to $27.9 million for the quarter, and an 18.7 percent decline in ad pages for the quarter to 210.49 pages.

Forbes reported a 15.6 percent drop in ad revenue to $46.9 million and a 20.3 percent decline in ad pages to 341.68 pages.

Fortune reported an 11.4 percent decline in ad revenue to $33.6 million and a 16 percent drop in ad pages to 265.63 pages.

Overall, the magazine industry reported a 3.9 percent decline in ad revenue. The 14 business magazines reported a 6.4 percent decline in ad revenue in the first three months of the year. Last year, the business magazines reported a 21.7 percent decline in ad revenue.

See all of the data here.