First Cleo, now Dolly – what does that mean for women’s media?

First, women’s magazine, Cleo finished production earlier this year. Now, teen mag Dolly has faced the same fate. Publisher Bauer Media Group confirmed the closing on Wednesday. Former Editor – and the youngest editor they ever had, Lisa Wilkinson said that the closure was “inevitable”, and put it down in part to the magazine not adapting to the digital age quick enough.

Dolly was a fairly large part of my life growing up, in a way. I read it from 14 to about 17 – the age target. I generally skipped over the model, celebrity and boy stuff. I read the Dolly Doctor and gained some fairly useful information from it. I read articles on things that,  weren’t talked about around me…. I’ll leave it at that. I also loved the career articles they had. I remember when I was about 17 – 18, I read about working in Marketing and I was obsessed with the idea of studying it – especially when I found out that it was available both in a town near where I live and through Open Training and Education Network (OTEN). It didn’t come into fruition, obviously (yet?), but, it peaked my interest, anyway.


Another iconic magazine has ended, now what? What does that mean for women’s media? Will print media survive at all? Will this give rise to more independent media outlets? Questions remain, but one thing seems to be certain – the media landscape is changing. Traditional media, without modification – can  no longer survive. I wonder if this also goes to content as well. Do teenage girls want more from their magazines? More of what, exactly?

I wonder whether the collapse of women’s magazines industry is partly due to simply the rise of the Internet. People don’t have to turn to magazines anymore for advice on sex, relationships or even celebrity gossip. It’s all on – line, including social media (following celebrities on Instagram, liking the Pages on Facebook, etc). Yet, digital media hasn’t been totally immune from being shut down, either. In March last year, women’s site The Hoopla created by ABC’s Wendy Harmer announced closing down the site, citing tough competition from the likes of Newscorp, according to women’s site, Mumbrella.


So, what now? Maybe media outlets, bloggers, etc who’s target is women need to change their whole approach – the media types (i.e. incorporating print with digital), but also content – what do women – particularly young women – want to read? Times are definitely changing. Maybe attitudes and demands are changing, so are needs, wants, values of women around the world – particularly the West. The question is how can a media organisation or independent blog/ site creator create content that suits these changes, because somewhere along the line, wants are not being met, at least from what I see.

Anyway. I’ll leave further speculation to others.


Did you read Dolly? What did you get out of it? Feel free to share your experiences in the coments.