Skift Take

Despite the quality of its content, Executive Travel's infrequent publication and poor digital presence meant it played a small role in the fast-moving world of frequent travelers.

Time Inc. will shut down Executive Travel magazine, which it acquired in October when it purchased American Express Publishing, Skift has learned.

Updated below with statement from Time Inc.

Time Inc. is the largest magazine publisher in the U.S. and is preparing to spin off from parent company Time Warner Inc. in the first quarter of 2014. The Executive Travel shutdown is consistent with press speculation about a large round of layoffs on both the editorial and business sides of Time Inc. titles prior to this spin off.

A Time Inc. representative would not comment on the matter. [see comment below]

Executive Travel was one of three travel magazines Time purchased from American Express — including Travel + Leisure and Departures — and published six issues a year. Its editorial focus was the high-end road warrior for whom it offered insight into hotels, loyalty programs, business wisdom, and gear. The magazine was sent to American Express Platinum cardmembers, in a similar manner to Departures, which focused on luxury leisure travel.

It has an enviable readership according to its own reader profile surveys. The average household net worth of its readers is $2,264,725, and they take on average 38 airline trips per year.

That reader advantage did not translate to strong ad sales, though. It finished 2013 down 20% in advertising revenue from the prior year and down 12% in ad pages.

Even taking into account its smaller publishing schedule, its numbers are a fraction of the two other Amex magazines or Sunset, a travel and lifestyle magazine focused on the U.S. west coast, and the closest thing to a travel magazine Time Inc. had prior to the Amex purchase.

A representative from Time Inc. disputes these numbers. They told Skift, “On advertising, Executive Travel magazine saw advertising revenue grow 27 percent last year versus 2012; it carried 238 advertising pages in 2013 compared to 211 pages for the previous year.”

January to December 2013 Vs. 2012

Title 2013 Ad Dollars 2012 Ad Dollars %CHG 2013 Ad Pages 2012 Ad Pages %CHG
Executive Travel Magazine 6,015,903 7,462,721 -20% 239 271 -12%
Departures 87,527,341 73,104,117 20% 874 778 12%
Travel + Leisure 139,951,991 121,838,752 15% 1,050 967 9%
Sunset 69,225,973 65,609,149 6% 521 531 -2%

Source: The Association of Magazine Media

Statement about the closing of Executive Travel from Feb. 4, 2014:

Unfortunately, the difficult decision has been made to no longer produce Executive Travel magazine. The December 2013/January 2014 issue was its last and will be closing in late February.

Since launching in 2002, Executive Travel has provided relevant travel news and information to help affluent, global C-level business travelers live life on the road as well as they do at home. With a circulation of 134,768, Executive Travel was published six times a year.

From Ed Kelly, president & CEO, American Express Publishing:

“I want to thank editor in chief and publisher Janet Libert for her incredible leadership and unparalleled passion and commitment to this brand and the talented editorial and sales and marketing teams for their hard work and many accomplishments. We are proud of their many achievements.”

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Tags: magazines, time inc, travel and leisure

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