Saturday, 26 April 2014

Ladies Home Journal Ended

After 131 years of print....the Ladies Home Journal is no more.  This week, they noted that circulation is not enough to carry the cost of print.  Ended.

It's an odd way to go.  At the peak in the mid-1960s....they had roughly six and a half million in subscriptions.  It was the general magazine that most women in their thirties and forties read.  Women came to church and quoted articles.  Neighbors met over coffee and chatted over the latest issue.  Some women would cut out various pieces and tape them to the refrigerator as reminders of life or health issues.

What happened here?  They shrink in subscriptions.....to roughly three million a month.  Naturally, you'd look at this and think.....that's still a fair amount of readers and ought to be enough to run most magazines.

I'm guessing along the way.....they had various people brought into the magazine operation over the past two decades, and their salary with compensation factors (401k, health costs, and vacation time)....to being a major factor.   No one talks over salary structure, but I'll bet that most of the writers and editors were pulling in more than $85,000 a year, and with benefit packages figured up....it probably averaged $130,000 easily.

I sat and looked up the editor/journalist base for the Journal....it's New York.  You can figure at least forty percent of their overhead....related to New York City costs....which is sad in some ways.  Had they been in Dayton, Ohio, or Prescott, AZ.....you could have cut salary by a drastic level.  But four-star editors and journalists just don't desire to leave the big city life of New York.

What happens to the staff?  I'm guessing they will float resumes out and hit on every single friend they have....hoping to find the same pay scale.....same work.....same location.  Maybe a couple will luck out.  But I'm going to take a guess on this....half will be forced to accept a twenty percent pay-cut or be forced into leaving New York.

So, for a bunch of women....kind of a sad day.  But economically.....the magazine could not survive under the current operation.

No comments: