Reader’s Digest Association completed its sale of Every Day With Rachael Ray to Meredith Corp., with more sales expected to follow as RDA pares back to focus on its core brands.
The Rachael Ray mag sale, finalized Oct. 28, is expected to be formally announced today. RDA CEO Robert Guth said Meredith was expected to pick up the majority of the title’s employees, except for a handful that would be staying on at RDA. The magazine staff is expected to stay in RDA’s 750 Third Avenue, New York, location until the end of the year.
Rachael Ray was an instant hit when RDA launched it in 2005, but with intense competition from other food media, its growth leveled off and it began losing money this year. Meredith is believed to have paid in the ballpark of $5 million for it.
RDA sought bankruptcy protection in 2009 and emerged under new leadership, prompting speculation that a selloff was imminent. Speaking to employees Oct. 27, Guth pointed to the Time Life business, which markets music and videos under a license with Time Warner, and the Weekly Reader magazines for schoolchildren as other units that would be sold.
One of the most valuable properties RDA plans to sell is Allrecipes.com, a user-generated recipe site for home cooks and one of the biggest online food properties. Meredith, which was bulking up on food properties even before buying Rachael Ray, is expected to take a keen interest.
Meanwhile, RDA is focusing on building out its flagship Reader’s Digest, Taste of Home, and The Family Handyman.