Back in the days that gardening titles Garden Answers and Garden News were owned by Emap I kind of kept up with news - I even applied for the editors job - but, since the sale to Bauer Media I kinda lost interest; especially as the website was taken down and a holding page put up.
The editorial team has certainly lost its definitive and separate identity and they have all been lumped together.
I am seriously wondering if Garden News and Garden Answers can continue to exists as printed publications and if they cannot, I doubt if the website can attract enough readers to replace the revenues. I would be delighted to hear from the editor(s) to put me right if I am way off beam here.
The reason for my latest questioning on the horticulture print, is this article titled 'Magazines count the cost of survival' on the Printweek.com website, where it details how printed media continues to go out of business due to rising printing and distribution costs and dwindling readership and reduced advertising revenues.
In the article PW quotes Haymarket Publishing director Chris King as saying: "Previously, we concentrated on quality as number one, followed by the environment and costs. Now all our energies are focused on costs. In the past two years, we have conducted a bottom-up review of our supply chain,".
This is a very telling statement to me. Clearly, and I see no ambiguity in what King says, quality has had to suffer in order to bring costs under control.
Indeed, Haymarket - the owner of Horticulture Week has managed to save over £1 million - "Haymarket's King claims the publisher has saved in excess of £1m" - In my view it is not because they wanted wanted to but more of a 'need' to.
I see further declines in printed media and one blogger, Neil Thackery, who also shares this view and argues that until magazine publishers stop thinking like magazine publishers then there will be little improvement.
Thackery highlights a post from journalist turned consultant Paul Conley. Conley has written that debt laden newspapers and radio companies are doomed and he is saddened that many of the applicants for a nanny job he is advertising is about to graduate for a media degree of some kind.