ACP closes Ralph magazine after 13 years

The July issue of Ralph will be the last issue for the masthead, which was launched in 1997 as part of a new wave of magazines for the men’s market.

Ralph‘s circulation for the six months to December 2009 was 63,155, a year-on-year fall of 5%. The circulation had fallen 47.9% since December 2006, when it recorded 93,409.

The magazine was produced on 48pp manroland Lithomans at PMP Victoria using 73gsm text pages and a 250gsm cover stock.

ACP Magazines group publishing director Phil Scott told ProPrint the closure reflected changing tastes. “The men’s market has seen a proliferation of launches in recent years – some of them our own, such as Top Gear – which have grown the market.”

He said that Ralph would “focus on its digital future” with its website, which it claimed was one of the top 10 magazine sites in the country.

But Scott said the closure should not be blamed on the internet, but rather regular shifts in tastes and the increasing competition in the magazine sector.

“This has very little to do with online. If history is any guide, the men’s category has had a new leader every six or seven years since 1980. Nobody blamed online for the demise of Playboy and Penthouse. Is Inside Sport still around in some form? All were category leaders in their time but their time passed,” said Scott.

He added that while there were about 850 audited titles on newsstands in Australia in 2004/5, that number had grown to around 1,200 last year. “We are spoiled for choice with many more launches than closures.”

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