People, Marie Claire & Geo India edition closure: Dues to be settled soon, no written intimation yet

29 Jul,2013

By A Correspondent [updated]

 

It’s ironic that both Marie Claire and People magazines celebrated their seventh and fifth anniversaries respectively just last month. The Indian editions of the two magazines have been doing rather well, or so we were made to understand until recently. And then there was Geo, which has been in the niche space.

 

On Friday, the Outlook group decided to announce the discontinuing the licensed editions of the three  magazines.  A press statement was issued as follows:

 

“Outlook Publishing (India) Pvt. Ltd. wishes to inform its readers that it is discontinuing its licensing arrangements with People, Geo and Marie Claire magazines with effect from the forthcoming issues of these magazines.

 

“Outlook, its promoters and management, however remain fully committed to all other Outlook Group magazines, which will continue to be published in the normal course.”

 

That last bit is evidently to quash rumours that the entire publishing company is being sold.

Although Outlook group president Indranil Roy wasn’t available for comment, we were told that all dues of employees impacted by the decision will be settled soonest. Staff salaries have been delayed as have the dues to some editorial vendors for a few months now. Interestingly, from the information received from a few of the affected staffers, no termination notice or written intimation has been issued.

According to sources, the economics of the publishing licensed titles has been severely affected by the rising dollar prices. What was negotiated in the boom period at around Rs 40-45-odd to the dollar has now crossed Rs 60. Says an industry watcher on anonymity: “While there is advertising revenue for luxury publications, content costs of lifestyle publications have been very high given staff costs, photography and design expenses, et al.” The dollar/euro conversion rate has evidently made the business unprofitable if the revenues don’t go above a threshold.

Meanwhile, a Facebook post by Marie Claire editor Neena Haridas has led to murmurs on whether the magazine would continue with another partner. “Marie Claire International is a very powerful media brand with 34 editions and we are NOT shutting down our interest in India. Marie Claire India is an integral and important part of our international strategy,” the post read. It is said that even Time Inc, the publishers of People, may not be averse to bring in a new partner or coming in to India independently.

 

Post a Comment 

Comments are closed.

Today's Top Stories
Videos