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June 5, 2009

Nickelodeon Magazine Closure Notes

* this is the article that most bloggers are linking to as independent, sourced confirmation of yesterday's LA Times news that Nickleodeon Magazine is having its 16-year run ended by owner Viacom.

* that article contains some salient information beyond the announcement, such as that the final closure will come before the end of the year, the magazine had a rate base of just under 1 million (it would claim 7.7 million total readers down from over 13 million total readers, which I'm guessing is based on pretty steep pass-around numbers). Also, Nick Jr. and its audience at roughly 1/4 the size is following its older relative into oblivion.

image* the article also indicates the magazine will burn off some current inventory through new publication, which is not something that came up as the rumor initially hit.

* the person whom I believe is the primary publicity person for the magazine -- or is at least the person to whom I've been directed to suss out some of the hanging issues -- is on vacation until the 15th of June. This isn't really news, but it did crack me up.

* one cartoonist who wished to remain anonymous but used to work for the magazine pointed out that one nice thing about its long run is that many cartoonists who really counted on the gig a decade or more ago have since gone on to different things, so that despite the pain involved with the cartoonists currently working for the magazine are likely to feel, there's no taking away a whole group of success stories that were initiated, prospered and then brought to an end.

* the cartoonist Richard Thompson, who did a recent, well-liked supplement cover for the magazine, wrote in to say of the publication's departure, "It leaves a big, sad hole in the magazine rack. Kids have lost a fun, inventive mag and cartoonists have lost a friendly venue for their drawings. I only worked for them once and I kick myself for not taking advantage of Chris Duffy & Dave Roman's open door for cartoons. It's a shame the door's been closed and the building's been torn down."

* there are a number of on-line testimonials about the closure, best of all perhaps Evan Dorkin's. Dorkin was the first person to link it to MAD's format shift that I read, even though it makes perfect sense to do so and we're likely to hear more about the moves in terms of their being paired together. Brutal year already for that side of the market.

* finally, Sam Henderson, the cartoonist I think of first of all those enjoying a relationship with this magazine, wrote the following to CR, emphasizing the practical difficulties involved for those who enjoyed the publication as a client. "With MAD downsizing it was only a matter of time. I'm sure every other person will say something at MOCCA this weekend. Time to get off my ass and look for more venues. The fact that some people like Kim Deitch didn't get recognition until their 50s and 60s keeps me optimistic. I'm glad I have a couple of SpongeBob gigs and Chris Duffy tells me he and David Roman might have post-NICK jobs lined up. Just when friends' kids are getting old enough to read..."

craig thompson art snipped that originally appeared in the magazine
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink

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