If you’ve never seen an income statement for a magazine it’s a very educational document to check out. It just so happens that JPG Magazine’s P&L was published recently over on Gawker/Valleywag (here) and I have it embedded here for you to see. They are claiming that in part, the demise of the magazine was contributed to by CEO Mitch Fox and his $500,000 a year salary, the expensive salespeople he hired, launching a travel title called everywhere and preparing a fashion magazine. If that’s true, it’s simply run of the mill magazine making hubris where people assume something that works at one level can be scaled to the next. Maybe this is also the end of an era where a powerful sales staff with serious marketing dollars can bring in more advertising than great content and loyal readers on its own.
Back to the income statement. In May 08 here are the numbers:
$40,000 in advertising with online and print being nearly equal.
$19,000 in subscriptions
$50,000 in newsstand sales
$23,000 paid in contributor fees ($100 a photo for the photographers)
$104,000 for paper and printing
$23,000 for subscription postage and newsstand shipping
$5,000 for website hosting
$10,000 in salaries for the circulation staff
$55,000 in salaries for the sales staff
$47,000 for the website staff
$58,000 for the magazine editorial staff
$18,000 for the marketing staff
$12,000 for marketing expense
$78,000 for executive salaries
$32,000 in general operating expenses
$17,000 for rent
For a grand total of -$375,000 in net income. Giant sucking hole.
You can obviously see why magazine making is a rich person’s game because $125,000 just to print and deliver the thing is a serious bill to pay every month.
Media Post is reporting that the magazine has been bought (here). I wonder if they can find any fat to trim. Apparently Mitch Fox is stepping down.