We hear from multiple sources that Budget Travel, the popular discount-vacation magazine, is shutting down, and that the announcement will be made to the press on Monday. Apparently, the offices of the title, which is owned by the Washington Post Company, are already emptying out. The company had a 33 percent drop in revenue for their magazine division in the most recent quarter, compared to the third quarter last year — but they attributed it publicly to losses in ad revenue at Newsweek. Budget Travel, which was founded by travel legend Arthur Frommer, is run by the Newsweek group. We have a call in to reps for the magazine for confirmation, and will update if we hear back. (Editor-in-chief Nina Willdorf replied to our inquiry only with: "Heading out of town. Can't talk. You can call me Monday.") If it's true, this is very sad — for readers, for employees, and for all of us — that people can't even afford to travel on a budget anymore.
Update: A rep for Newsweek and Budget Travel e-mailed us this comment: "Budget Travel is not shutting down nor is it laying off staff. It’s business as usual at Budget Travel and we are currently working to produce the February issue and beyond. It’s also important to note that we have a growing and engaged audience which, in this difficult economic climate, is no small feat." Meanwhile, Media Jobs Daily reports that executives met today at noon to discuss the fate of the magazine, and the ad sales department had previously been told to put their work on the February issue on hold.