Calling it nothing less than one of the company’s “most important and far-reaching ventures ever,” the Reader’s Digest Association has entered into a broad agreement to publish a quarterly magazine and various multimedia offerings—including a social network—aimed at the Christian audience.
RDA is partnering with Dr. Rick Warren—pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, and the author of the best-selling "Purpose Driven Life"—to produce what it calls “an inspirational multimedia platform” that includes a magazine, DVDs and a “Facebook for Christians.”
All of this is scheduled to roll out in 2009, beginning in February, the company said Monday.
Mary Berner, RDA president and CEO [pictured], called the venture "an expression of our vision for the company’s future," and hopes to strike up similar multiplatform deals moving forward. "Platforms are things that we excel in: magazine creation and publishing, and, increasingly, digital media.
Alyce Alston, president of RDA’s Home & Garden and Health & Wellness affinity groups, will oversee the business.
The magazine, available to the church’s members, will be “consistent with our highest editorial standards," the company said.
Berner has made sweeping changes—both executive and cultural—at Reader’s Digest since taking over as president and CEO following last year following the sudden $2.4 billion acquisition of the company by an investment group led by Ripplewood Holdings.