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FHM And Zoo Magazines To Suspend Publication, Says Bauer Media

17/11/2015 12:57 | Updated 17 November 2015

FHM and Zoo magazines are due to suspend publication, it was announced on Tuesday, as the two lads' mags join a host of titles to close in recent months.

Although publishing group Bauer Media has not given a reason why the titles have been suspended, there is growing speculation about whether the move is representative of the decline of popularity for lads' mag and more broadly, print publishing.

Both the print and digital titles will be suspended. They join other lads mags to close in the past few months, including Nuts, which closed in March 2014 and Loaded, which printed its last edition in April this year.

fhm magazine

FHM

In Bauer Media's announcement, the company said: "Over time young men’s media habits have continually moved towards mobile and social."

It cited that FHM and Zoo currently has a combined digital audience of more than five million.

Publisher Gareth Cherriman said: "I greatly appreciate Damien McSorley’s leadership and the dedication and effort from both teams.

"I would like to thank our advertisers and retailers who have supported the brands and I’m sure that everyone who has worked on FHM and ZOO over the years will be sorry to hear this news."

FHM’s circulation fell below 67,000 for the first six months of the year - 20% less than in 2014. Zoo sold just over 24,000 copies - a fall of more than 12%.

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Originally printed under the title 'For Him Magazine' in 1985, FHM was increasingly popular in the 1990s and launched a number of international editions.

FHM is arguably best known for its '100 Sexiest Women in the World' list, which has been running for 21 years.

A statement on FHM's website read: "Unfortunately it’s true and it has been announced today the intention to suspend publication of FHM.

"It’s been an absolute joy producing the magazine over the years. Thank you for all your support, we will keep you updated with developments over the coming weeks."

Weekly publication, Zoo, was first printed in 2004 and was aimed at men between 18 and 35.

A statement on Zoo's website read: "It is with regret we have to inform you of the intention to suspend publication of Zoo.

"We've loved every minute of the near 12 years and 600-plus issues we've shared with you and would like to thank each and every one of you who've been there with us along the way.

"We'll keep you updated with any other news over the coming weeks and we hope you enjoy our last few issues."

Many people were sad to see the magazines go, with most citing the decline of print as being the main factor in their demise:

And many pointed out that the once popular publications can't compete with the digital age:

The six stages of the demise of the lad mag:

  • 1 Online porn
    scyther5 via Getty Images
    70% of men and 30% of women watch porn online every week, according to research from the porn website Paint Bottle in 2013. You can watch porn online, for free, whenever you like. (And people really do seem to watch really does seem to be 'whenever you like' - the same research claimed that two out of 3 HR professionals had found porn on employees computers). Why would you spend the money, and risk the embarrassment, of buying a magazine with provocative ladies in a newsagent?.
  • 2 Supermarkets went to war with lads mags
    Press Association
    After campaigns from groups representing parents, supermarkets started demanding that lads mags, or magazines with provocative covers, be concealed by "modesty bags" from 2013. Whether they resisted and pulled their magazines out of supermarkets altogether, or agreed and had their front pages concealed, this was not good news for sales.
  • 3 The rise of other options
    Shortlist
    Perhaps following the continued rise of the 'metrosexual' since the mid 90s, subjects like fashion, grooming, health, technology have become acceptable and popular topics for men to read about, and made lads mags less attractive. Free titles like Shortlist, and men's monthly magazines like Esquire, Wired and GQ, focus on topics other than women - they even have men on the cover.
  • 4 The feminist wave
    LEON NEAL via Getty Images
    The rise of popular feminism in the 2000s has seen campaigns and public criticism of how women are presented in the media, putting pressure on supermarkets, newsagents and media owners to shun images that value females only for their bodies.
  • 5 No more Page 3
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    After years of high profile campaigning by No More Page 3 and other groups, The Sun appeared to drop its iconic topless models earlier this year. As Britain's best-selling newspaper, which shifts 1.8 million copies an issue, this was a huge statement about the shifting tastes of the public.
  • 6 The demise of print generally
    Joe Fox via Getty Images
    Print magazines, like newspapers, have seen falling sales for more than a decade, as the internet means so many interests can be catered to faster, more frequently, and for free. Lads mags have perhaps taken a more savage beating than some, but they follow the wider trend which is leading to a smaller, more niche offering of magazines on our shelves, and far more online-only titles.

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