Meredith Announces Structural Changes, Lays Off 200 Employees

The company will also print 2 magazines as special issues only

About 200 people were laid off today. Meredith

About 200 employees were laid off from Meredith today from all areas of the company after executives announced a series of decisions—including that it would merge two magazines.

EatingWell and Cooking Light will, as the company phrases it, combine. The first new issue of EatingWell will launch for the Jan./Feb. 2019 issue and will be published 10 times per year. A new Cooking Light title will exist on newsstands only in 2019 and will publish six times per year. Interestingly, and will still exist as separate entities.

“Combining the powerful EatingWell and Cooking Light magazines will strengthen our editorial product while providing advertisers with access to this passionate group of consumers seeking a healthier lifestyle,” said Carey Witmer, evp and group publisher of the Meredith Food Group.

In addition, Coastal Living won’t be available for subscribers and will only be printed for newsstands at an annual rate that has not yet been determined. It will retain a digital presence, according to a company news release.

In addition, Meredith announced it would outsource hard-cover retail book business and newsstand functions, such as billing and collections. Certain company functions including production, information technology, finance and consumer revenue will be consolidated to “drive sustainable growth,” according to the release.

A majority of the Local Media Group’s digital advertising functions will also be consolidated with MNI Targeted Media, which will focus on third-party sales, OTT and back-office support, according to the release.

“We believe these actions best position Meredith for continued success,” said Meredith president and CEO Tom Harty in a statement, claiming that the company reaches 175 million American consumers each month. “We inspire, entertain, influence and drive our consumers to action, positioning Meredith as the branded media company of choice as we enter the calendar 2019 advertising buying season.”

Earlier this year, Meredith completed its acquisition of Time Inc. and decided to put four of those inherited titles up for sale: Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Money.

Doug Olson, president of Meredith Magazines and general manager of National Media Group at Meredith Corporation, told Adweek in June that he had hoped the sales would be completed by the end of the summer. Though rumors have circulated, there hasn’t been public confirmation of a sale.

@SaraJerde Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.