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THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Ladies' Home Journal to End Monthly Publication - One of Nation's Oldest Magazines Is Victim of Declining Ad Revenue

 
From The Wall Street Journal:

Meredith Corp.'s Ladies' Home Journal, one of the country's oldest women's magazines, will end regular monthly publication this July, the victim of declining ad revenue and changing consumer habits.

Currently published 10 times a year, the magazine will be converted to a quarterly newsstand-only title this fall, with its July issue its last subscription issue. Meredith will continue to offer an active magazine website at www.lhj.com.
 
First published in 1883, the Ladies' Home Journal was part of a broader wave of influential women's publications in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that shaped how women made the American home, said Robert Thompson, a professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University.
 
"You can't overestimate the importance of those magazines," said Professor Thompson. "They were a connection to a larger culture that explained how to decorate, how to raise children, and all the rest of it."
 
Nowadays, however, the magazine is competing with websites such as Facebook and Pinterest for women's attention, as well as many other newer magazines. The Ladies' Home Journal's paid circulation totaled 3.2 million for the six months ended Dec. 31, 2013, down 22% from the second half of 2004, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, which tracks magazine circulation.
 
Edward Atorino, an analyst with Benchmark Co., suggested that Ladies' Home Journal may hold less appeal to a new generation of readers. "Are you going to read Ladies' Home Journal if you are in your 20s?" he asked.
 
Advertising is also down. During the first three months of the year, the magazine's ad pages declined 22%, outpacing a net decline in industrywide magazine pages of 4%, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.
 
"Magazine print advertising dollars are moving to digital," said Ken Doctor, an analyst with Outsell Inc. "That's what leading to the decline in advertising pages. It gives marketers a more focused, targeted approach. It lets them know how things are working at the moment, gauge results, and make immediate changes."
 
Samir Husni, the director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi, said advertisers prefer more focused magazines, rather than broader interest titles like Ladies' Home Journal, which covers such subjects as food, child-rearing, crafts, health, pets and relationships and inspiring stories.
 
A Meredith spokesman noted that the company continues to publish women's lifestyle titles Better Homes and Gardens and Family Circle, and had recently launched food-related magazine Allrecipes and acquired Every Day with Rachael Ray and EatingWell.
 
The media company disclosed the decision as it reported its March 31 quarterly earnings on Thursday. Meredith said it would take a charge of $8.5 million for severance costs primarily related to Ladies' Home Journal and the unrelated closing of a sales force training company, plus a $9.3 million write-down related to the trademark of Ladies' Home Journal.
 
A spokesman for Meredith said that the 35 New York-staffers who work on Ladies' Home Journal will lose their jobs. New issues will be produced in Des Moines, Iowa, where Meredith is based.

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