Recession Forces Annapolitan To Cut Two Issues

Fall In Ad Income Prompts Change In Publication Schedule

January 13, 1992|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,Staff writer

Blaming the recession and slow winter months, Annapolitan magazine has cut its February and December issues this year.

The latest edition combines January and February in an expanded format, while a similar double issue will come out in November.

"Annapolitan is doing what it has to do in these tough times," Philip M. Evans, editor and publisher, wrote in a January column.

Evans said he changed the publication schedule because advertising income traditionally drops between the fall boat shows and the first warmspring weekend.

"In the boom years of the 1980s, it was possible to weather the bleak winter months without dire consequences," he wrote.

"Unfortunately, that's not the case in the midst of a recession."

With the advertising industry severely battered by the recession, national and local magazines have been forced to fold or reduce the number of issues.

Annapolitan's cutbacks are the first for the slick, full-size, color magazine. Evans bought it in 1984, when it was digest-size, black and white and distributed free,mainly to tourists.

"In the past, all we've done is expanded," Evans said in an interview.

Under his ownership, the magazine has gained readers outside of Annapolis as far away as Baltimore, Washington, the Eastern Shore, Delaware and Northern Virginia.

The publication has a circulation of 12,000, mainly through subscriptions and newsstand sales, although Annapolis hotels and advertisers get free copies.

Regular features of the February and December issues have been moved to other months, Evans said.

The January/February issue contains features that traditionally ran in January, such as a newcomers' and residents' guide to the county and a calendar of events occurring in both months.

The November/December issue will contain an expanded gift guide and holiday events.

All subscribers will get the number of issues they originally bought, Evans said.

"It is always a very difficult decision, an unpleasant decision, when you have to reduce the frequency of publication," Evans said.

"We certainly hope we can ultimately go back to 12 issues a year, but have no specific plans to do that. It depends on the economy."

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