Domino dancing with Conde Nast

January 28, 2009

April Fool’s Day is still a few months away, giving magazine publisher Conde Nast some time to pull a few practice gags. The latest is its decision to kill Domino magazine — days after appointing a new chief to run it.

Here’s the press release, sent on Wednesday:

Domino magazine will cease publication, it was announced today by Charles H. Townsend, President and CEO of Condé Nast. The final issue will be published in March 2009.

“This decision to cease publication of the magazine and its website is driven entirely by the economy,” Mr. Townsend said. “Although readership and advertising response was encouraging in the early years, we have concluded that this economic market will not support our business expectations.”

Domino was launched in April 2005. The magazine’s current ratebase is 800,000.

It is one of the latest “shelter” magazines — titles dealing with the home — to go under. (Kind of ironic, really, when so many people are spending more time at home because they can’t afford to go out anymore.)

Things were different not so long ago, the New York Observer reported earlier this month:

Back in November, CEO Chuck Townsend, in a statement through a spokeswoman, conceded that there were problems at the magazine: “Ad revenue is off at Domino like it is across the industry, but the magazine is way ahead of our original plans to circulate it in the marketplace.”

Some other reports said at the time that appointing a new “publishing director” to oversee the publisher was a sign that Conde Nast had enough faith in the magazine to keep it alive.

Just kidding!

11 comments

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That is totally not cool!!!!!! I was freaking out when i read they were going to close the mag. Domino and Lucky are my favorite things in the whole world. Conde Nast that’s not funny!!!!!

Posted by Shaunie | Report as abusive

Perhaps the right chief wasn’t appointed. This magazine has value! It offers approachable design to the contemporary lifestyle.

Posted by Rose | Report as abusive

The heck with the 49% drop in my portfolio. That was nothing. But they are closing Domino? Now that hurts. I LOVE Domino magazine – every word, every picture, every page. It is a work of art every month. Shame on you Conde Naste for bailing. What’s left – Traditional Home? Ick! No way!

Posted by Nancy | Report as abusive

That’s my favorite magazine! So sad! Nancy’s comment is true…it is a work of art!

Posted by Jenna | Report as abusive

This is very, very bad news. There is nothing like Domino out there. Why can’t they cancel one of the gazillion McMansion home magazines I see at the grocery store checkout line? Or one of the celebrity-obsessed tabloid magazines? Or the redundant Glamour/Cosmo/Allure magazines???? Domino is a treasure. I bet Domino fans would pay more for their subscriptions just to keep it afloat….

Posted by Jennifer | Report as abusive

Very disappointed to find out that Domino is ceasing publication. This magazine serves a niche that no other home decor book out there does. The word “real” comes to mind. Instead of overly designed rooms, Domino provided readers with real decor ideas that were original and obtainable.

As a decorator in New York, this is upsetting. It is far easier to find expensive furniture and fabrics for clients than less expensive solutions. Domino was an inspiration for this new market. I had clients who used to refer to AD handing me Domino tear sheets for lighting and fabric ideas. I don’t want to say it was the look for less because it was so much more — there was an original and elegant look to almost everything in every issue. Crisp, functional and still inviting. It was the cool girl’s apartment! We will all miss the inspiring work of Domino’s designers and editors.

Posted by Maggie | Report as abusive

Let me know what needs to happen to keep this magazine alive! It makes me giddy every time I see it in my mailbox. I’m sure the readership will take up the cause and support Domino any way it can.

Posted by Kerry Gabler | Report as abusive

[...] And now, a week after solidifying my loyal readership for life with their Zooey Deschanel cover, they’re taking it away from me. [...]

It is an awful thing to happen but I have to ask how these magazines can compete with the free online magazine market. Magazines like http://www.largom.com and http://www.designspongeonline.com offer great original content online for free

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive

It seems that we will have to find an online alternative. Ever heard of DesignIntuit.com?

Posted by Rick DeGab | Report as abusive

Check out http://www.flickr.com/groups/dominomag/. It’s the next best thing.

Posted by Julia Grathwol | Report as abusive