Following last year’s acquisition of the Meredith family of media brands, the newly formed Dotdash Meredith has nixed the print runs of six magazines. Among them is Martha Stewart Living magazine, which will release its last print edition next month, following a decision made by its new owner to focus on growing the title’s digital business, MarthaStewart.com.
According to the Des Moines Register, Dotdash Meredith’s chief business officer Alysia Borsa issued the news to employees in an email Thursday, explaining that the May print edition would be the last for Martha Stewart Living as the company shifted its focus to digital development. A Dotdash Meredith spokesperson said 20 of the brand’s New York–based workers will be impacted by the decision.
With lifestyle guru Martha Stewart at the helm as editor in chief, the magazine first hit newsstands in 1990 with publisher Time Inc. It wasn’t until 1996, when Stewart formed her own company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, that she bought could buyback the magazine and related assets from Time for $30 million. In 2014, the company signed a 10-year distribution agreement with Meredith, allowing the publisher to assume editorial and operational control of the magazine as it produced 10 editions annually, drawing roughly 2 million subscribers as of last year.
After IAC/Interactive Corp.’s $2.7 billion acquisition of the Des Moines–based Meredith in December, the leaders of digital-only media company Dotdash took control of the legacy Meredith publications under the newly merged Dotdash Meredith. Since the deal was originally announced in October, Dotdash Meredith CEO Neil Vogel’s team has been determining paths forward for the print side of the company’s new titles, including exploring the option of printing fewer editions on higher quality paper for a “luxury experience.”
So far, the company has folded the physical editions of EatingWell, Entertainment Weekly, Health, InStyle, Parents and People en Español—cuts that resulted in roughly 200 layoffs. Martha Stewart Living became the latest addition to that list last week. “Dotdash Meredith is proud of the many accomplishments of our teams and the legacy of their creative, inspiring and collaborative work with Martha,” a company spokesperson told BOH. “We thank everyone for their hard work and dedication, and are committed to helping them make a smooth transition.”
The shift toward digital was confirmed by Neil Fiske, CEO of Marquee Brands, which owns Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. “The media landscape is evolving so quickly, and Martha has always been at the forefront of innovation and change,” Fiske said in a statement. “We are excited to partner with her as we enter this next chapter where Martha will bring her unmatched authority, unstoppable energy, and creativity into more modern digital formats.”
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