Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Observer shuts three out of its four monthly magazines


News that the Observer is shutting its sport, music and woman monthly magazines is shocking only in that it's not a wholesale closure.

I enjoy the Observer and will miss the sport magazine especially, but in a marketplace made ultra competitive by online news and features, blogs and gossip, only truly niche offerings will survive. That's what the Observer has in its food magazine, an unrivalled quality of supplement, proudly measuing up to the weekly offerings of writers like AA Gill.

So in the long term, the move will be seen as a success if it helps focus resource on keeping (or making) the Observer a competitive newspaper and perhaps also allow it to direct more time and energy into the successful Guardian blogs and Comment is Free sections.

That being said, it's probbaly the first of many changes to our national press as we know it and that's why, as I mentioned in a previous post, News International is trying to stay as master of its own destiny by an aggressive approach to online news content, the BBC and the Labour Government.

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