Krause Fires Staff, Kills Pubs

Krause has shown the door to ten employees and shuttered three publications: Toy Shop, Toy Cars & Vehicles, and Vintage Motorcycles. The company has also reduced page counts on additional titles, limited travel, and froze hiring.

During its late nineties heyday Toy Shop was the 500 pound gorilla in the collector toy segment. Diecast models, vintage toys, dolls, and board games were among the scores of segments served in its ad-heavy newsprint. A number of Toy Shop advertisers conducted phone auctions during predefined schedules described in their print ads. Sort of a precursor to eBay. Then eBay came along with a better mouse trap and the rest is history. Frankly, I’m surprised Toy Shop lasted past the 2002 time frame.

In 1998 Toy Cars & Vehicles launched to compete with Mobilia Magazine and Krause wound up acquiring that title in 2000.

Keith Mathiowetz, now publisher of Prewar Auto Notes, left Krause subsequent to Vintage Motorcycles being shuttered.

Times are tuff for publications dependent upon ad dollars for merchandise easily bought and sold online. My recent search for new windshield glass, washer bottle, sales literature, and a replacement differential for my ’69 Chrysler took me straight to the web with immediate results. I simply don’t bother to check print sources anymore. Krause’s flagship publication Old Cars Weekly may be less vulnerable than pub’s catering to small-dollar purchases efficiently transacted by online checkout procedures, but the day of reckoning is upon them. High-dollar online vehicle transactions are now the norm and great content on all facets of cars is awaiting the next Google search. And then you have blogs morphing into electronic publications with daily postings and real time reader commentary.

So why cut down all those trees when everything a consumer wants or needs is a mouse click away?

Old Cars Weekly, Hemmings Motor News and Cars & Parts are among the top dogs critically vulnerable to this perfect storm. The coming 12-18 months should see significant adjustments with publishers slow to react to the online tsunami.

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  1. Krause takes the low road and the results may be catching up. Toy Shop was nothing more than an overweight supermarket tabloid. I like OCW editorial but not enough to renew a publication with anemic advertising. You whine about Hemmings but an ESOP heads the death list in my book.

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