We Hear: Reader’s Digest To Lay Off 300

As part of a previously announced plan to reduce headcount, we hear Reader’s Digest Association will announce cuts of up to 300 employees at a series of internal meetings within the next week, according to a source inside the company. A 300-person layoff would represent approximately 8 percent of RDA’s total workforce.

A majority of the cuts will likely affect several of RDA’s foreign publications, “but I think there will definitely be some cuts” at RDA’s Pleasantville, NY headquarters, the source says. A corporate communications representative at Reader’s Digest Association was unavailable for official comment today, but we’ll update you with additional information as it comes in.

In a November 2008 report on the company’s operating performance, Reader’s Digest described the first quarter of its 2009 fiscal year as “challenging for the company.” Recent news hasn’t been all bad, however, and new products aren’t on hold, even with layoffs on the way:

Earlier this week, Reader’s Digest announced it would launch a new quarterly magazine, Purpose Driven Connection, with megachurch pastor Rick Warren, who leapt into the national consciousness last week when he delivered the invocation at the inauguration of President Barack Obama.