Meat Trades Journal to cease publication
The trade title Meat Trades Journal is to cease publication, with its last issue in print expected to be the January 2018 edition.
The title, which was to celebrate its 130 year anniversary in 2018, was launched in May 1888, and at the time incorporated the Cattle Salesman’s Gazette. It has had several different owners in more recent years, having originally been owned by the trade itself for decades with headquarters near Smithfield Market in London.
The International Thompson organisation acquired the MTJ in the early 1960s, then a weekly publication, printed in an A5 size format, and subsequently re-launched it as a fully-paid tabloid newspaper, with a modern approach to advertising sales. The ‘golden period’ that followed saw the paper become one of the most successful and profitable in the Thompson business publishing empire, with large amounts of classified advertising contributing substantial revenues, only ranked next to major titles such as Construction News and Drapers Record.
The title was sold by Thompson to EMAP in the 1990s along with a swath of other Thompson titles as the company was moving away from UK publishing activities. It was then sold on to Quantum Publishing soon after. This EMAP/Quantum period saw a significant fall in MTJ circulation, although its circulation and advertising content had actually been in decline since 1987 over the period running up to the sale.
The title was eventually sold to William Reed Business Media, based in Crawley, Sussex, in circa 2005 and was fundamentally changed by halving its frequency to fortnightly.
The MTJ went on to drop its longstanding membership to the Audit Bureau of Circulations and last year the publication reduced frequency yet again and became a monthly edition.
Commenting on the news, Graham Yandell, publisher of Meat Management magazine, said: “I was very sorry to hear about this demise of Meat Trades Journal. I was employed by Thompson in the 80s and was charged with rejuvenating MTJ in 1982 as its publisher. Between then and 1986 profits doubled and circulation increased to its highest level for 15 years. I left the title in great shape and enjoyed my time at what was a great paper. However, it all goes to prove that the market decides who and what will be a success and history alone does not guarantee future success.”