Normally, I conduct a major studio purge every June. I tidy up in between projects, but leave the major weeding (the official library term for culling old and no longer needed items) and reorganizing until I am off for summer break. I skipped last summer because I was in the process of changing jobs and needed to devote my energies to making that a successful transition.
Which is why I’ve found myself with about 18 months worth of old magazines to sort through this week. In the sorting process, I noticed a few titles missing – Cloth Paper Scissors Studio, Quilt Magazine, Sew Beautiful, KiKi Magazine, Quilty, Quilt It Today – and was surprised by the number of magazines originating from the UK in the pile. Curiosity got the better of me so, I donned my librarian hat and logged into to our school’s periodical subscription service to check the status of the magazines.
Industry consolidation and a shift from print to digital media are the two main reasons why you see fewer craft related titles at the newsstand.
Industry consolidation within the past 2 years:
F + W bought New Track Media.
Harris Publishing filed for bankruptcy. (Quilt Magazine)
American Crafts Group filed for bankruptcy. (The Quilter Magazine, Quilt It Today)
F + W’s portfolio includes the following quilting/sewing related businesses:
Probably not a complete list because I didn’t have a lot of time to search!
Basically, this leaves Meredith (BHG, American Patchwork & Quilting), Stampington (Where Women Create), Hoffman Media (Classic Sewing – sort of like the old Sew Beautiful), Taunton (Threads) and the British publishers as the competition to F+W. There are a handful of small, specialty publishers such as Homespun (Primitive Quilts), but they serve highly specialized niche in the magazine marketplace.
It also makes me wonder how many additional titles in the F + W portfolio will eventually disappear as the editorial groups consolidate further inside of F + W (Interweave & Creative Crafts Group, especially).
So here ends your magazine publishing lesson for the day. I am removing my librarian hat and donning my stitcher hat. Needless to say, I will take a closer look at the magazines in the pile. Specifically, I’m hanging onto Quilt It Today, Sew It Today and Quilty (when Mary Fons was editor).