Food & Wine, American Express Publishing‘s epicurean pub, announced it was raising its rate base from 900,000 to 925,000 beginning in January 2009. According to a release, the magazine’s circulation was 958,348 issues during the last six-month period.
The timing of the announcement strikes us as suspicious. The jump of 25,000 copies represents a tiny increase percentagewise (2.77), especially for a magazine that went from 800,000 to 900,000 during its last rate base hike. Given today’s bad news about magazine circulation declining almost across the board, we can’t but help the F&W announcement is more than a coincidence.
Is AEP capitalizing on the industry’s bad news? Almost certainly, but in the current climate, we’ll take any silver lining we can get, even regarding a publication we will never read.