Falling readership forces closure of Far Eastern Economic Review

Hong Kong : The Hong Kong-based monthly magazine Far Eastern Economic Review will cease publication in December due to falling readership and advertising revenue, the publisher confirmed Tuesday.

The magazine, which was launched in 1946, has continued to lose readers and advertisers despite several attempts at invigorating the brand, publisher Dow Jones Consumer Media Group said.

But faced with continuing readership declines at the Review, the company said it has chosen to concentrate is efforts on its core print and online publications, in an effort to boost the company’s growth in Asia.

Todd Larsen, chief operating officer at Dow Jones Consumer Media Group, said the company had been proud to be associated with the magazine and its invaluable contributions to the understanding of the Asia region.

“The decision to cease publication of the Review is a difficult one made after a careful study of the magazine’s prospects in a challenging business climate,” Larsen said.

“It has a rich history of pioneering journalism and helped to set the standard for the press in Asia in the post-World War II era, when local publications often lacked the freedom to report honestly.”

Dow Jones has already expanded its Asian content in the Wall Street Journal and online editions with a redesigned WSJ.com and through its chinese.WSJ.com.

It has also launched a mobile application that delivers news content via BlackBerry and iPhones.

The company said these investments in Asia had translated into an increased print circulation of 6.3 percent year-over-year for the January-to-June period, with particularly significant growth in Hong Kong, India, Malaysia and Taiwan.

Average daily circulation for the print publication has increased to 85,822 copies, from 80,706 year-over-year.

The 63-year-old Far Eastern Economic Review was founded by Eric Halpern, an immigrant from Vienna based in Shanghai who moved to Hong Kong during the civil war in China.

It was first published in Hong Kong as the Far Eastern Economic Review in October 1946.

In 2004, the magazine was switched from a monthly to a weekly format.

The company said current subscribers would be offered a one-year subscription to the Asian online edition of the Wall Street Journal.

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