With just one tweet, Heat South Africa has announced that their last ever issue will be this coming Fridays’, as they will be CLOSING DOWN:
The speculations about their closing has been rife for quite a few years, as their circulation has been declining constantly, and their advertising sales non-existint.
There has been no official word from Media24, as yet, on how the staff will be affected.
UPDATE 27 February 2015: Above is the last cover of the last issue of Heat. It’s really a pity that the Bosses made the decision to kill it off IMMEDIATELY, as the Heat-team will now never have the opportunity to say a proper goodbye in the magazine. This issue when to print after the team heard the news, so there is zero, zip, zilch, none, nada, niks, nothing in this last issue referring to it being the last 😦 So they’ve made the same error as with FHM’s last issue, where it’s riddled with invites for readers to contact them, and to subscribe.
Captain jumping ship?
André Neveling has been the editor of Heat South Africa since April 2012. The Editor and Publisher are usually the 1st to hear the alarm bells when a title is being looked at for the possible Chop… I’m not saying that’s why, but it would make sense why André has been investigating other options for a while…
André tweeted about new beginnings on 20 January 2015
On 22 January, he Instagrammed and Tweeted that he has resigned as editor of Heat South Africa “to join Dubai’s celebrity weekly Ahlan!, in the UAE (Dubai)”.
He also said farewell to his CliffCentral family, where he had a small slot called The Heat Show
And as the news spread around the closure of Heat, André was busy packing his bags for Dubai
Whether he knew something was coming, or not, it doesn’t matter now. I wish him all the luck in the world in his new position at Ahlan! in Dubai!
How did staff and ex-staff respond to the closure?
Melinda Shaw, Founding Editor
Tiffany Hopkins, Production, Freelance Office Oracle
Sonja Raath, Ex-News Editor
André Neveling, Editor
A lot of the current and ex-staff just retweeted Heat’s original tweet at the very top.
The positives remarks about Heat’s closure
The Ups and MANY Downs of Heat South Africa
- In April 2012, with the appointment of André Neveling as editor, the cover price dropped from R22 to R13,95, as they also introduce a new lower quality type of paper, referred to readers as “toilet paper”.
- Because of the big backlash, they bring back to glossy paper (well, glossier…), and increase cover price up to R17.
- Readers of both People South Africa and Heat start complaining that they keep reading the same stories in both, with Heat always afterwards… You can read these two stories here and here.
- In March 2013, after the whole Oscar/Reeva period, Heat printed a very miss-leading cover line and cover picture about Francois Hougaard, in relation to Reeva Steenkamp.
- Joost also complained in September 2013, about miss-leading quotes in Heat.
- A year later, September 2014, Heat stooped a new low with their cover featuring Joost in a gay club.
- It’s become known at this stage that Heat isn’t very good when looking at the detail, as they regularly had numerous errors when announcing competitions, for example.
- A first for them, was their own The Heat Show on CliffCentral, which was a great initiative, but had a slow start.
- One of the many nails in the Heat-coffin, was when Media24 launched The Juice.co.za…
- Advertising was really bad in Heat, with the latest issue (26 February 2015), which is a 72 pager, only had 4 advertisements (Woolworths Connect, E! on DStv, Bump Patrol and MTN). One of which (E! on DStv) is most like a trade exchange with DStv. So that leaves 3 paid for ads…
- Their advertising sometimes spilled onto the cover, with them creating a cover story to accommodate an advertiser.
- And of course, their obsession with the Kardashians: Kim Kardashian appeared on 44% (22 covers out 50 cover) of their 2014 covers, and if you add up all the Kardashians, it increased to 58% of ALL Heat South Africa covers in 2014 (29 out of 50)!
- Declining ABC results:
|2012, Q1||2012, Q4||2013, Q4||2014, Q4|
|30 193||27 945||28 446||24 842|
Channel24 taken the place of Heat?
Media24 on Monday announced plans to close celebrity niche magazine heat.
The company said this was in line with a clear plan to accelerate its digital-first strategy to best serve its fast growing digital audiences while consolidating its print portfolio behind its strongest brands.
“It is always difficult to close a magazine but international and local trends show that celebrity-only print titles are in decline,” said Minette Ferreira, head of Media24’s weekly magazines. “Many of our print titles have excellent celebrity content and we believe heat readers will migrate to incredibly powerful brands such as YOU and Grazia. For breaking celebrity news the internet has become the source for celebrity junkies and we are well positioned to capitalise on this through our fast-growing celebrity sites,” she added.
To build digital scale, Media24 celebrity sites Channel24 (www.channel24.co.za), and The Juice (www.thejuice.co.za) will soon merge to become a one-stop celebrity megasite, with a strong focus on South African stars.
Lisa MacLeod, Media24’s head of digital publishing, said: “Media24 is constantly evolving, and we go where our readers are. We are expanding our content offering on digital platforms as we develop a greater understanding of how our readers are consuming content and how we can best meet these needs.”
MacLeod said that the move was a further step in the company’s digital-first strategy. “The merger of Channel24 and The Juice supports our multiplatform publishing approach and our clear mission to service our valued customers on any device at any time.”
Ferreira said staff have been informed about heat’s closure. “We will try as far as possible to accommodate them in alternative positions.”
The last edition of heat will be on street from 27 February.
Even though I was sometimes very harsh on Heat, at the same time I quite enjoyed their articles, and their presentation of it. I wish the whole team all the best!