Caxton withdraws from magazine publishing

Caxton withdraws from magazine publishing

The Caxton publishing group has unfortunately become another casualty of the Coronavirus. The board of directors of Caxton and CTP Publishers and Printers Limited announced on Tuesday, 5 May that they will be withdrawing from the magazine publishing industry and associated businesses.

Caxton news has begun the process of withdrawing from the magazine publishing business. The publishing house has brought readers widely loved magazines like Bona, Country Life, Essentials, Food & Home, Garden & Home, People, Rooi Rose, Vrouekeur, Woman & Home and Your Family

The publishing house had three magazines on the list of South Africa’s most read magazines, which were revealed in the Publisher Research Council’s recent Publisher Audience Measurement Survey: Bona was at number two, Food & Home was at eight and People was at 11. This proves that magazines cannot rely purely on readership to succeed, as advertising revenue sustains a publication. 

According to the board of directors of Caxton and CTP Publishers and Printers Limited, its withdrawal from the industry is due to the steady and continuous reduction in the overall amount of adspend being allocated by advertisers to the magazine media sector. It was also due to the decline in circulation revenues that has significantly reduced the viability of the magazine business over the years.

The COVID-19 pandemic worsened things for Caxton as it affected the business’ ability to trade regularly, amidst already strained training conditions. In addition to this, lockdown has seen a significant amount of cancellations of advertisements in the period leading up to and over the lockdown period.

This downscaling from the group’s clients led to a significant loss of revenue, placing massive pressure on the magazine industry and business as a whole, which they simply couldn't come back from. 

This being said, the reduced levels of revenue combined with the potential long-term impacts of the COVID –19 combined with reducing circulation numbers, making it impossible for Caxton and CTP Publishers and Printers to sustain the business in the short and long-term. 

Although a difficult decision to make, this led to the group’s decision to close its magazine division. The company is in the process of consulting with its employees and the group wants to engage with any other parties and publishers who would be interested in taking over any of its titles.

 The titles affected include:

  • Essentials
  • Bona
  • Country Life
  • Food & Home
  • Garden & Home
  • People
  • Rooi Rose
  • Vrouekeur
  • Woman & Home, and
  • Your Family.
Caxton's withdrawal from publishing is the latest blow to the South African media industry, who is bleeding as advertisers increasingly reduce advertising spend under pressure during the coronavirus pandemic.

General manager of Caxton & CTP Publishers, Anton Botes, believes that the company will find alternative publishers for 80% of the affected titles, having garnered considerable interest from investors and individuals. 
Caxton is not the only coronavirus casualty. Be sure to take a look at Associated Media Publishing: An end of an era to learn more.