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The Incredible Shrinking Teen Category: Teen People Pulls An Elle Girl

Time Inc.’s Teen People shutting down as a magazine after its September issue; will live on. If this sounds familiar, well, it should, since Hachette’s Elle Girl did the same thing in April.

Teen People ushered in the era of magazines launching teen titles off of long-running mothership brands, in part because Teen People looked like a home run in its early years. Today, reality has set in. And the teen category has thus full circle. When Teen People launched in ‘98, there were three major teen titles: Teen, YM, and Seventeen. By 2003, Teen had folded, but still there were six, thanks to newcomers CosmoGirl, Elle Girl, and Teen Vogue. In the fall of 2006, we’re back to three: Seventeen, Teen Vogue, and CosmoGirl.

Given that magazines are a medium that skews toward women (and some who should know say today they’re skewing even more towards women) and that, you know, teens represent the next generation and all that, it cannot be considered good news that the next generation’s changing media habits are decimating what was the magazine world’s most expansive category a few years ago.

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