No Shelter: Southern Accents Folds

Struggling magazine division Time Inc., whose future as a part of Time Warner has long been in question, is becoming a smaller challenge for its parent company as it lops off another title from its stable.

Time Inc. is folding Southern Accents with the September/October issue, the second shelter title to go from the company in less than a year.

The announcement was made by Sylvia Auton, an executive vp who was given oversight of Time Inc.’s lifestyle titles last fall and who also shut down Cottage Living, Time Inc.’s popular shelter startup, in November.

While four-year-old Cottage Living offered the promise of business success, topping a circulation of more than 1 million with its message of unpretentious living, it failed to gain significant traction on the ad page side.

Southern Accents, published six times a year, had different issues. Its niche, upscale, target audience and small circulation size (405,635) made it a tough sell in today’s challenged economic times. Ad pages fell 40.1 percent to 207 this year through its July/August issue, per the Mediaweek Monitor.

The handling of Southern Accents’ Web site underlines the lack of established practice in the industry, even within the same magazine company, about what to do with the Web sites of defunct magazines. Time Inc. shut down Cottage Living’s site when it closed that title but will continue to operate

A rep for Southern Accents said that its vp, publisher Steve Cummings would lose his job, along with about 20 other staffers. Time Inc. was exploring placing remaining nine staffers, including the editor, Karen Carroll, elsewhere at the company.

As a result of the Southern Accents closure, Peter Medwid, the publisher of another Time Inc. shelter title, Sunset, will pick up responsibility for Coastal Living, which Cummings had overseen along with Southern Accents. Barb Newton, president of Sunset, also will become president of Coastal Living.

Subscribers will be notified that their orders will be transferred to another Time Inc. magazine.