After a week of rumours, Bauer Media Group have confirmed the closure of iconic Australian women’s magazine, Cleo, after 44 years on the shelves.
In a statement released by on Wednesday morning, Acting CEO Andreas Schoo said that while they ‘considered all the options’, the publication simply wasn’t ‘commercially sustainable for the longer term.’
‘I would like to thank Lucy Cousins and all of the Cleo editorial team for their ongoing dedication to the magazine over the years,’ Ms Schoo wrote, adding that the closure will not impact Cleo Singapore, Malaysia or Indonesia.
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End of an era: After a week of rumours, Bauer Media Group have confirmed the closure of iconic Australian women’s magazine, Cleo, after 44 years on the shelves
Moving on: In a statement released by on Wednesday morning, Acting CEO Andreas Schoo said that while they ‘considered all the options’, the publication simply wasn’t ‘commercially sustainable for the longer term’
Reports over the past week indicated a bleak future for the magazine, after its website was shut down without fanfare last month.
Ms Schoo said the company now planned on placing an increased focus on Cosmopolitan and teen magazine Dolly, of which they announced a digital relaunch.
‘We will also be announcing plans today to relaunch Dolly as a digital first property, with a focus on mobile video, social media and e-commerce supported by restructured print and digital editorial teams to ensure we are generating the vest in market content,’ she said.
Relaunch: Ms Schoo said the company now planned on placing an increased focus on Cosmopolitan and teen magazine Dolly, of which they announced a digital relaunch
Modernised: ‘Our always on approach will be complemented by a new look print product, taking Dolly from monthly to bi-monthly, relaunching as a high quality, valued-packed companion to the digital and social platforms,’ she said
Farewell: Ita Buttrose (left) was the first editor of Cleo magazine and Lisa Wilkinson (right) was Cleo’s youngest ever editor at the age of 21, who wrote a blog post farewelling the magazine on Wednesday morning
‘Our always on approach will be complemented by a new look print product, taking Dolly from monthly to bi-monthly, relaunching as a high quality, valued-packed companion to the digital and social platforms, covering major trends, fashion, beauty and issues affecting young women today.’
The last issue of the Australian magazine will go on sale on February 22.
Former editor Lisa Wilkinson bid farewell to the magazine in a blog post on Wednesday morning, labelling it ‘a magazine of your times, and a key driver in changing those times for the better.’
Back in time: Cleo magazine’s first edition was published in November 1972. Pictured above is the cover
‘Generations of Australian women are in your debt’: Pictured is supermodel Elle MacPherson on the cover of Cleo magazine in 1984
‘At your best, you were fun, informative, lusty and liberating, and several generations of Australian women are in your debt. While it’s sad that our daughters no longer need you, it doesn’t mean that you failed, but that you, and we, succeeded,’ she wrote.
‘For those of us who really knew you, we bid you a fond farewell. We will miss you.’
In the 12 months leading up to September 2015, the publication’s readership had declined by 16 per cent, according to Roy Morgan research.
No more Bachelor of the Year: Notable winners of the competition include Osher Gunsberg (left) in 2004, comedian Andy Lee (centre) in 2006, actor Firass Dirani (right) in 2010
Cleo’s first edition was published in November 1972 and was started up by veteran journalist Ita Buttrose at the helm with the late media mogul, Kerry Packer.
It featured articles that empowered women, covering topics from ‘What happens when you have a hysterectomy?’ to ‘Contraception: What you need to know’.
In 1975, the magazine published its first male centrefold of actor Jack Thompson.
Cleo was the creation of Buttrose and the late media mogul, Kerry Packer (left with his wife, Ros)
The issue from December 2015 featured Australian model Shanina Shaik on the cover
The story of Cleo’s rise was told in the ABC television series, Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo, starring Offspring star Asher Keddie as Buttrose.
The magazine has catapulted the careers of Australia’s most respected media personalities, including Channel Nine’s Today show host Lisa Wilkinson who became editor of the publication at the age of 21, and Mamamia founder Mia Freedman.
For its time, Cleo was forward-thinking with its controversial sealed section that had more explicit and mature content.
The Hart sisters, Jess and Ashley, got together for this intimate cover
Cover girls of Cleo magazine include models Cindy Crawford (left) and Bambi Northwood Blyth (right)
An example of sealed section topics including orgasms, nipples, breast size, sexual habits and libido, according to a 1984 cover with supermodel Elle MacPherson on the front.
In 1987, the magazine’s Bachelor of the Year competition was introduced, with AFL player Matt Buntine crowned last year’s winner.
Notable winners of the competition include radio host Kyle Sandilands in 1997, television personality Osher Gunsberg in 2004, comedian Andy Lee in 2006, actor Firass Dirani in 2010 and Olympic swimmer Eamon Sullivan in 2011.