SOUTHERN BOUND: Country Living named Rachel Hardage Barrett as its new editor in chief Monday to succeed Sarah Gray Miller, who is leaving her post after five years. Hearst Magazines also said the title was relocating from New York City to Birmingham, Ala., to be “closer to the country lifestyle.”
The magazine bills itself as “the definitive guide to the country lifestyle,” whereas as competitor Southern Living, which has a significantly larger circulation at 2.8 million, “celebrates the best of life in the South.” Southern Living, owned by Time, Inc., is already based in Birmingham.
Barrett’s appointment was the second significant shift at the magazine this year after publisher Kassie Means was moved over in February in the same role to Hearst’s Woman’s Day. She was succeeded by Jane Wladar.
Barrett had been the executive editor of Southern Living.
Country Living has a circulation of 1.67 million that increased nearly 2 percent in the first half of the year, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. But it has struggled on the advertising side — the magazine has lost 12 percent of ad pages through its October issue for a total of 447 pages, according to Media Industry Newsletter, and ended last year down 3.48 percent at 630 pages.