ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST: Add Meredith Corp.’s Country Home to the growing list of shelter titles — and magazines in general — that have shuttered in the past year. The magazine, which has been around since 1986, will cease publication as of the March issue, and some 40 employees will be out of a job, including editor in chief LuAnn Brandsen. Steve Levinson, who served as publisher, is also group publisher and will remain with the company. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, Country Home had an average total paid and verified circulation of 1.27 million for the six-month period ended June 30, and Media Industry Newsletter reported that advertising dropped 25 percent last year.
The company said it will also lay off 250 people and move the editorial operations of ReadyMade and Parents.com to its headquarters in Des Moines. ReadyMade is located in Berkeley, Calif., while Parents.com is anchored in New York. The layoffs will come from the closure of Country Home, while the remainder will be “corporate wide,” said a spokesman. “The recessionary economy has impacted both publishing and broadcasting advertising, which accounts for approximately 60 percent of our revenue stream,” said Meredith president and chief executive officer Stephen M. Lacy. “Trends indicate a continuing soft economy into calendar 2009 as well.” Due to the magazine closure, relocation of editorial operations and layoffs, the company will record a charge of $16 million in its fiscal 2009 second-quarter earnings, which will be released Jan. 22.
— Amy Wicks