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?