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Robert Niles

Amusement Business magazine folds

Published: May 31, 2006 at 1:44 PM

Amusement Business magazine has folded, after 111 years of covering fairs and amusement and theme parks. VNU, publisher of Billboard, among other titles, closed the book today, meaning its May print edition will be its last. Subscribers got the word via snail-mail letters this week, with an e-mail blast going out today, too. The news came without warning, as the May issue included a future publishing schedule, along with a pitch to advertise in upcoming theme issues ("Coming in August, AB salutes the Indiana State Fair's 150th Anniversary!" Um... guess not.)

A trade magazine, Amusement Business was known to theme park customers almost exclusively for its year-end estimates of theme park attendance. But the bulk of the magazine's coverage centered on personalities and companies in the theme park, amusement and fair business. In recent years, Amusement Business branched out to cover music tours and other out-of-home entertainment, in an effort to maintain its readership.

Trade publications have been hit hard by the Internet. For most of its 111-year existence, Amusement Business was the only publication exclusively covering theme and amusement parks. Today, that's no longer the case, with dozens of prominent sites covering the industry, including this one. Amusement Business, along with other VNU publications, tried to enhance its appeal with a more frequently-updated website. But its content stood behind a paid registration wall, crippling the publication's visibility online and preventing it from attracting new readers.

Still, I'll miss AB, and I'll be curious to see who picks up the task of the year-end attendance estimates.

Replies (3)

Greg Maxwell

Published: May 31, 2006 at 2:24 PM

My AB subscription had lapsed earlier this spring. I was thinking of renewing but now it looks like I made the the right decision by waiting. I will miss the old AB and now I will have to decide which print Amusement news source I will replace AB with if any.
Tombraider Ty

Published: May 31, 2006 at 6:47 PM

Right when I was abot to subscribe! :(
Donna Tolliver-Walker

Published: June 2, 2006 at 4:08 AM

What other amusement biz trade magazines are out there?


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