A day after publisher Chris Harte’s “pain” memo, the Star Tribune has killed one of its specialty publications, MARQ magazine, and laid off six staffers.
If you’re unfamiliar with MARQ, you probably don’t live in a zip code with million-dollar homes; the free bi-monthly was “hand-delivered to an exclusive, discerning reader audience in Minneapolis and St. Paul and the surrounding metro area,” according to its website.
The already published Winter 2008 issue is MARQ’s last; it leaves the declining luxury-goods market to more venerable titles such as Mpls.St.Paul and Minnesota Monthly. MARQ departs having just won two gold medals at the Minnesota Magazine and Publishing Excellence Awards.
While few will shed tears that rich folks have one less thing to read, specialty pubs not only keep journalists employed, they can be a big boost to a publisher’s bottom line.
Or at least hold out the promise of future growth. One widely distributed Strib freebie aimed at younger readers, vita.mn, remains alive according to sources. However, Karen Larson, a Strib vice-president for specialty publications and business development, will leave the company, according to an internal memo.