After 131 years, Ladies’ Home Journal will end its monthly frequency in July and convert to a newsstand-only special interest quarterly publication this fall. In its new format, the New York-based Ladies’ Home Journal will relocate to parent Meredith Corp.’s Des Moines, Iowa headquarters.
While LHJ.com will continue to publish to its 1.1 million monthly unique visitors (comScore), Meredith communications director Art Slusark confirmed to FOLIO: that the entire editorial staff (around 35 employees) was laid off, including six-year editor-in-chief Sally Lee. Lee also serves as the Meredith National Media Group New York editorial director.
Also out is publisher Diane Malloy, but Slusark said that she and others on the business side could still secure positions within the company.
The monthly magazine carried a rate base of 3.2 million readers. The title will forever be remembered as a member of the women’s-service magazines’ "seven sisters." McCall’s folded in 2012, but Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, Redbook and Woman’s Day still survive.
LHJ’s advertising pages more than halved between 2009 (1,269.82 ) and 2013 (614.64). The 2014 differential is a poor -23.36 percent when compared to last year.
Ladies’ Home Journal survived an earlier crisis in 1982 when Charter Communications all but gave it away to Family Media as "homemaking" was becoming archaic. The magazine quickly prospered under editor-in-chief Myrna Blyth (now AARP editorial director) between 1981 and 2002. The late Family Media CEO Bob Riordan was said to have made a handsome profit when he sold the magazine to Meredith for $96 million in 1986.