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WINE Magazine shuts down print edition

South Africa’s WINE Magazine has announced that its September 2011 edition will be the final print run of the publication, which will now shift all its activity online.

It will be interesting to see how the shake up will affect the journos and staff on the books.

Press release from Ramsay Media:

WINE Mag going exclusively online“While we are excited by the possibilities of the core offering moving from print to digital – and using it to support a range of established projects – the decision to stop producing a printed magazine was not an easy one,” explained managing director Stuart Lowe. “But the reality is that the small niche audience of Wine magazine, together with a lack of advertising support from the industry combined with the expense of print and delivery has always created an extremely challenging environment for the magazine. Add to that the impact of the proposed liquor advertising legislation and the publication of a monthly physical product becomes an untenable business proposition.”

While Wine magazine’s circulation has remained static for the past decade, its digital audiences have grown substantially. Between website users of winemag.co.za and the Wine e-mail newsletter subscribers, Wine’s online audience is currently in excess of 30 000 a month, indicating the general market appetite for wine-orientated digital content.

Regarding the thinking behind the move to digital, Lowe went on to say, “In the current economic environment, we believe that it is vital to formulate strategy based on the best prospects for long-term growth. Part of that is a commitment to a 360-degree offering to our audience and advertisers that maximises the benefit of a broad range of media platforms. But an equally important part of that involves an understanding of the need for niche publications to adapt to market forces. Consequently, our future digital content will be substantially different from what we currently offer – and more exciting!”

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