Reports online of an impending closure of Cleo magazine have been squashed by a Bauer spokesperson who spoke to B&T.
According to News Corp and other trade media publications, Cleo staff were set to be given the news that after 44 years in Australian media, the iconic title will be shut down, but speaking to B&T the Bauer Media spokesperson was adamant that there was “completely no truth” in the reports.
Cleo’s website was shut down around late November / early December, with traffic being redirected to the website of Cosmopolitan Australia, another Bauer Media title.
But the spokesperson said “digital and print run completely separate from one another” and there was “no announcement being made today” nor was anything expected to be announced regarding closure in the future.
“It is complete speculation at this point and we’ll be making no announcement to staff today or in the future,” he told B&T.
The spokesperson admitted that Cleo’s online traffic wasn’t as strong as that of Cosmopolitan’s and that the reports of its closure have most likely risen out of the redirecting of Cleo’s website.
The magazine’s circulation has been on a steady decline, with monthly sales at 42,212 — down from 150,000 eight years ago.
It comes after Bauer closes its distribution arm and Women’s Weekly editor Helen McCabe quits, amid swirling rumours Women’s Weekly and Woman’s Day will merge. It also follows a decision last January to merge the magazine’s editorial team with teen magazine Dolly.
The lovechild of Ita Buttrose and Kerry Packer, Cleo was born in the 1970s and was the star of the 2011 miniseries Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo.
The magazine has been run by female media heavyweights like Lisa Wilkinson and renowned for being the first in Australian women’s mags to include a male centrefold and notorious sealed sections, as well as its annual Cleo Bachelor of the Year Awards.
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