The men's magazine Ralph has been axed by ACP Magazines, after a year in which the publication continued to decline in popularity.
In a statement issued this afternoon, ACP said that the upcoming July issue would be the final print edition of Ralph, which was first published in August 1997. The company said that the Ralph website would remain, but the closure of the magazine is expected to lead to thirteen redundancies.
ACP's group publishing director Phil Scott said that Ralph had come to the end of its natural life, being superseded by other publications in the men's magazine market such as the market leader, Zoo Weekly, which is also owned by ACP.
"The history of the monthly men's market is that the No. 1 masthead tends to change every six or seven years, dating back to the Penthouse and Playboy era, followed by Inside Sport and then Ralph and more recently ALPHA.
"The launch of Zoo as a weekly in 2006 and the subsequent arrival of cross-category men's magazines such as Top Gear and Men's Health have steadily eroded the once dominant 'lads' monthlies. The trend is evident all over the world and is the reason ACP re-positioned FHM in May of 2008."
The Australian reports that Ralph's circulation dropped from 66,319 to 63,155 in 2009, a decline of 4.7 per cent. Its readership of 267,000 puts it well behind Zoo Weekly, which is read by around 466,000 readers every month.
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