LADIES’ HOME JOURNAL GOES QUARTERLY: Ladies’ Home Journal is no more — at least not in the traditional sense.
This story first appeared in the April 25, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The 131-year-old monthly magazine is going quarterly, from 10 issues a year, and shuttering its New York office, the company said Thursday. This has translated into staff layoffs totaling between 40 and 50 people, a spokesman for LHJ parent company Meredith Corp. told WWD.
As a result, the magazine will publish from its Des Moines headquarters, where it houses a staff that works on special interest publications. Meredith has used this model before: In 2009, it transitioned Country Home to a quarterly publication.
According to the Alliance for Audited Media, LHJ has seen its total paid and verified circulation slowly decline from 3.9 million in 2009 to 3.2 million in 2013. Single-copy sales totaled 119,463 last year, a 6.3 percent dip over 2012.
But the numbers that drove Meredith’s decision was the magazine’s slumping advertising sales, Meredith said.
Ad pages have been falling for some time at the women’s title. According to the Media Industry Newsletter, pages dropped 38.3 percent in March to 37.7 pages, 13.5 percent in April to 52.27 pages and 35 percent in May to 41.47 pages.
“It’s been a profitable brand, but not enough to continue in this format,” a spokesman said. “It has been challenged by a high median [readership] age and an increasingly competitive field out there.”
Meredith said it’s hoping to transition both advertisers and readers of LHJ to its other publications, which include More, Fitness, Eating Well and Every Day with Rachael Ray.