Axed charts the dramatic decline of the magazine industry in Australia from the million-selling highs of the 1990s to the recent round of mergers, closures and mass-redundancies. What went wrong?
Australian magazines once boasted the highest circulation per capita in the world. Former magazine editor Phil Barker follows the story from this golden age to today, showing how mismanagement, unchecked spending and the challenge presented by the rise of the internet all combined to undermine the previously unassailable position magazines held in the Australian consciousness.
Prominent magazine executives and editors who witnessed the industry’s decline and failure to capitalise on digital opportunities have gone on the record for the first time. Featuring in-depth analysis of archival reporting and brand-new interviews with key players, Axed lifts the lid on the scandals behind the industry’s swan dive.
But Phil also talks to the people who have managed to pivot in a fast-moving media landscape and believe magazines are a part of Australia’s future. Are magazines really dead, or is there still some hope for survival?
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia (June 1, 2022)
Length: 288 pages
Raves and Reviews
'Axed is a love letter to Australia's magazine industry, told with a wry insider's eye for what was funny, frustrating and fascinating about a glamorous profession reaching the end of its glory years. Phil Barker has uncovered new accounts and insights explaining the mismanagement and misfortune that cost magazines their central place in Australian culture. This is a tremendous book which entertainingly celebrates what made magazines special while unflinchingly exploring what went wrong.'
– Tim Burrowes, founder of Mumbrella and author of Media Unmade
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