Big Changes at Readers Digest


Since February’s takeover of Readers Digest Association by the private equity firm Ripplewood Holdings, the 85-year old company has undergone many changes. Mary Berner was named President and CEO. In March, Eva Dillon was named President. Jeff Wellington was named publisher at the end of September. And last month, Bill Beaman left as Readers Digest Washington Bureau Chief to become EIC of Campaigns and Elections.

A tipster emailed FishbowlNY, ”Internal grumbling from older staffers that Jackie is moving into uncharted territory.” FishbowlNY took the charge to Readers Digest’s editor Jackie Leo. She responded via email, ”(I’m) not sure what you mean by ‘older,’ but some of the most dramatic changes are being led by our veteran staffers. In fact, our new management asked us to show them our dream version of RD. So we did.”

Keith Kelly reports today that Readers Digest Association’s no-show at the American Magazine Conference in Boca Raton was due to the fact that the company is outsourcing some of their global printing business to Williams Lea Holdings. The Readers Digest Association’s move to a London-based corporate information systems organization ”will lower its direct mail printing costs by $130 million.” Kelly also notes that 100 RDA employees will become William Lea employees.

More changes are coming. The circulation rate base will drop by two million in January, the same issue that the magazine undergoes a redesign. ”There will be some surprises — but with 37 million readers, we’re not going for a DNA transplant,” Leo said in an email.

(image via mrmagazine)