NEW YORK — After six years A&E Networks is scaling back Biography — the magazine, that is. Starting in the first quarter of 2004 the monthly magazine that is a sibling to the net’s celeb-profile series will be published quarterly.
In explanation of the pullback, Nick Davatzes, prexy and CEO of A&E Television Networks, said, “We recognize that it is in the best interest of our customers to stay focused on our primary business — television.”
Although Biography was never in the same league as celeb-ogling mags like People — which has a circulation of 3.5 million — it has a fair circulation of 705,000, built up since 1997, when Biography was launched.
In the first half of 2003, however, newsstand sales were down 9% compared with the same period a year ago. Ad pages were down 28% in July compared with July 2002.
New mag will continue to run stories on subjects appearing on the Biography Channel’s namesake series.
Paulette McLeod will continue as editor of Biography.
A&E is owned by Disney, Hearst and NBC.