Hearst Shutters 'O at Home'

Also Cuts Staff at Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Redbook

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Hearst Magazines continued to retrench today, shutting down the quarterly O at Home magazine and adding layoffs at Esquire to those at Good Housekeeping and Redbook.
Hearst buried news of O at Home's shutdown in a release about Sarah Gray Miller's new post as editor in chief of Hearst's Country Living magazine.
Hearst buried news of O at Home's shutdown in a release about Sarah Gray Miller's new post as editor in chief of Hearst's Country Living magazine.

Sarah Gray Miller, editor in chief of O at Home, was named editor in chief of Hearst's Country Living magazine; Hearst buried news of O at Home's shutdown in a release about Ms. Miller's new post. She succeeds Nancy Soriano, who left Hearst last month. Most of O at Home's "small" staff will be placed elsewhere at Hearst, a spokeswoman said, declining to elaborate.

The company also continued to decline to confirm the layoffs at Redbook and Good Housekeeping, reports of which have bubbled up on Gawker all week. Reached on deadline today, an Esquire spokesman said only that the title had "made as few changes as possible in order to be more efficient."

Tough times in industry
The entire magazine business is making cuts amid an economic downturn that's exacerbating challenges posed by new media, and Hearst is no exception. In addition to O at Home, a victim of crowding in the troubled shelter category, Hearst has recently closed two other launches: CosmoGirl in October and Quick & Simple in July. It previously gave up on launches including Lifetime, Weekend and Shop Etc., leaving O, The Oprah Magazine, as one of the only surviving launches of president Cathie Black's long tenure. Food Network Magazine rolled out its first issue in October.

Through November, ad pages fell by 12.8% at Esquire, 4% at Good Housekeeping and 9% at Redbook, according to the Media Industry Newsletter. Ad page counts were not available for O at Home.
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