Ladies’ Home Journal to End 130-Year Run as Regular Magazine

Ladies’ Home Journal, the oldest women’s-interest magazine in the U.S., is shutting down regular publication despite a circulation that still ranks among the highest in the country.

Owner Meredith Corp. will only use the magazine’s brand online and for stand-alone special issues to be sold on newsstands. While circulation fell 0.1 percent in 2013 to 3.2 million, ad sales slumped 14 percent to $152 million, according to Alliance for Audited Media and the Association of Magazine Media.

Although the audience for female magazine readers remains healthy, Meredith has other publications such as Parents and Family Circle that suit their needs, Meredith Chief Executive Officer Steve Lacy said today on a conference call. The company plans to shift Ladies’ Home Journal advertisers and subscribers to its other magazines, he said.

“It just lessens what we believed would’ve become a drain in fiscal ’15 on the resources of the national media group,” Lacy said.

Published since December 1883, Ladies’ Home Journal covered global events and cultural shifts from a female perspective. Its first photographed cover appeared in 1898, with a picture of first lady Ida McKinley. In recent years, the magazine’s focus has been on nutrition, beauty, home decorating and parenting.

Meredith, based in Des Moines, Iowa, is cutting the magazine’s staff and wrote down the value of its trademark by $9.3 million, according to a statement today. Its name will live on in Meredith’s collection of editorial products known as special-interest publications, or SIPs. Also called bookazines or magalogues, SIPs carry advertising and have covers that look like magazines, with titles such as Decor, American Patchwork & Quilting and Chicken Dinners.

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