Story of once-glorious Finnish youth magazine Suosikki reaches final chapter
Publishers Otavamedia will put an end to the magazine, which has been on newsstands since 1961
There will be nostalgic sighs amongst an entire generation who eagerly awaited the arrival of their copy of the youth magazine Suosikki in order to be able to pull out the fan-poster insert (often of Elvis Presley, thanks to the predilections of long-serving and legendary editor Jyrki Hämäläinen) and pin it on their bedroom wall, for the news on Wednesday was that publishers Otavamedia are pulling the plug on the old warhorse.
Otavamedia has decided to discontinue the magazine, as it has long been a loss-maker.
The last issue of Suosikki (the name translates as "Favourite") will be published in December 2012.
Founded in 1961 and featuring pop music and fan culture, Suosikki has long been suffering from changes in young people’s media use and from fragmented music consumption.
”The product was utterly unprofitable”, says Ville Kormilainen, the current editor-in-chief of Suosikki.
In 2011, the youth magazine underwent a revamp process, attempting to focus more on girls, but it did not fully succeed, according to Kormilainen.
”In a way, this is the natural end of a long gloomy decline. Somewhat exaggerating, I have said that the process started in 1999, when the girl band Spice Girls broke up and people began to use the Internet”, Kormilainen contemplates.
According to the Finnish Audit Bureau of Circulations, the circulation of Suosikki was 19,500 in 2011, while in 1997, it was still more than 86,000. Even in 2005, the figure had topped 50,000.
Suosikki has been a loss-maker already since the beginning of the 2000s, reports Alexander Lindholm, President and CEO of Otavamedia.
”We have not managed to reverse the process, even though the editorial and marketing staff have tried their hardest”, Lindholm notes.
According to Lindholm, the circulation should have been at least twice the current number, in order to make the magazine profitable. The audience of Suosikki has moved on to the Internet. ”The Net offers free access to quite a lot of its content”, Lindholm explains.
According to Otavamedia, the closure of Suosikki will not lead to any changes in personnel.
”I will continue to work for Otavamedia as the editor-in-chief of children’s magazines”, Kormilainen says.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Swansong for a (pop-) stargazer (21.5.2002)
Jyrki Hämäläinen, 1942-2008 (Wikipedia)