Meredith Closes Country Home, Lays Off 250

Moves Some Departments From New York to Des Moines

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NEW YORK ( -- Meredith Corp. laid off 250 more employees, shut down Country Home magazine today and relocated some creative functions to its Des Moines, Iowa, headquarters from New York today. The moves by Meredith, publisher of magazines including Ladies' Home Journal and Better Homes & Gardens, follow cuts last June in which the company axed 60 full-timers and eliminated another 60 open positions.

The recent meltdown in the housing markets savaged Country Home's ad-page sales.
The recent meltdown in the housing markets savaged Country Home's ad-page sales.
Steep decline in ad pages
"The recessionary economy has impacted both publishing and broadcasting advertising, which accounts for approximately 60% of our revenue stream," President-CEO Steve Lacy said in a statement after employees had been told the grim news. "Trends indicate a continuing soft economy into calendar 2009 as well."

Country Home's paid and verified circulation had held steady at nearly 1.3 million copies, but the recent meltdown in the housing markets savaged its ad-page sales. They sank 25% last year, according to the Media Industry Newsletter. Its 40 employees were counted among the 250 left jobless today. The cuts were across all departments. Before today's cuts, Meredith's corporate fact sheet said the company employs more than 3,500 people.

Website to go dark
Its website,, will go dark along when the print edition shuts down after the March issue. The magazine began as a special-interest publication, evolving into a regular subscription title in 1984.

Country Home is only the latest magazine to quit print amid recessionary pressure and mounting challenges from new media.

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