R.I.P. Nickelodeon Magazine

June 5th, 2009 | Posted in News


News broke yesterday on the LA Times Blog and was further confirmed on The Comic’s Reporter and Heidi MacDonald‘s The Beat that Viacom is canceling Nickelodeon Magazine effective immediately. From LA Times Blog:

Viacom is shutting down Nickelodeon Magazine this week and will lay off about 30 staffers. Launched in 1993, the magazine, with a circulation of more than¬¨‚Ć1 million and a total audience of more than¬¨‚Ć6 million, was for many years an important promotional platform for the¬¨‚Ćchildren’s cable network and provided a steady stream of cash. The magazine even once was a National Magazine Award finalist and also led to a few spin-off products.

Viacom is citing the fact that the magazine is no longer a viable marketing tool for the television network, which apparently was the main purpose of the publication… although it was known to make a fair profit as well. The loss of readership to the internet and the loss of print ad revenues were also cited as being reasons for the decision, which cost 30 people their jobs not to mention the freelancers who got regular work with the magazine. I am sure rising production and distribution costs were also a big factor, as those plus the circulation drops and loss of ad revenue have been the typical reasons for the struggles of virtually every print magazine on the news stands.

Nickelodeon Magazine was one of the few publications out there with a strong comics/cartoon presence in it’s content, so it’s loss is a definite blow to professional all ages comics and cartoons. There are few venues out there these days for that kind of humorous comic work. We have had a subscription almost since it’s inception in 1993, although with my youngest at 13 we’d outgrown the content to a certain extent. The comics were of terrific quality and it was always a joy to see the work of so many talented cartoonists collected in a single publication like that. It’s a tremendous tragedy that the world is slowly losing print comics like this.

I suppose people will be flooding the internet blaming the cancellation of Nickelodeon Magazine on a drop in the quality of the content, just like they say supposedly happened with MAD. I guess Spongebob and Dora just aren’t as entertaining as they used to be to kids… and of course the quality of the articles and interviews with the stars of iCarly, the Naked Bros. and other Nick TV staples are just not as good as they used to be. That must be the reason, just like it was with MAD… right? 🙄


  1. Realistically, their target market(kids) would be more likely to go to their website than read a magazine, so this is understandable. I hope the best features of the magazine are continued online. Admittedly, I’ve never read the magazine, nor do I have cable/satellite.

  2. Nate says:

    I heard “the rumor” about this yesterday, but it is true, huh? It’s like when the steam locomotives were slowly replaced by the diesels (sorry for the un-clever train reference, but that’s what all of this reminds me of). It’s too bad. I’m going to miss reading a lot of these magazines that have had such great comics in them.

  3. Mark Engblom says:

    Although I’d quibble with the word “tragedy”, it IS tough seeing such an advocate and promoter of cartooning literally disappear from the stands. Also, it’s yet MORE proof (like we needed more) that reading printed material (or reading in general) is becoming an “endangered activity” in the lives of so many kids.

    Of course, in its wake will come the inevitable discussion of how we need to bring this material to the web, how to monetize it, how to make it relevant, etc., etc., etc., etc. I sometimes feel we’re in an endless loop of the same conversation…as print continues to die and its “refugees” continue to wander around in stunned bewilderment.

  4. Brad says:

    that just flat out SUCKS!

  5. This is really upsetting! I love Nick mag! If I had known that the 3D issue was going be the last issue ever I wouldn’t have given it to the kid sitting behind me on the airplane who kept kicking my chair! :/

  6. Chris Duffy says:

    Hi, Tom! I was Senior Comics Editor at Nickelodeon Magazine. Thanks for your nice words!

  7. Thats very sad, but print will live on, if not in the hands of gruby little fat kids then in the hands of every person who has ever steped into a comic shop or held a comic.
    I really hope the big players in the animation industry (cartoonetwork, nick etc) realize that they need to change their strategy and spend more money on the quality of their programming.
    Instead of awaiting the next big thing and talking a gamble on it, which does ocasionaly work (spongebob) They should start animation houses, and have the same crew working together for periods of time constantly developing their own style and way of working and thinking.
    Then they will produce programing that their audience will enjoy and make a big bucket of money, and then their magazines will start making sales again. I’m sorry to hear such a big player in the kids magazine industry has disapeared.


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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