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Inside the surprisingly enduring brand of Reader's Digest

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Bonnie Kintzer
Bonnie Kintzer Credit: courtesy Bonnie Kintzer

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When Bonnie Kintzer became president and CEO of Trusted Media Brands in 2014, it was still called the Reader's Digest Association. She had been president, U.S. Magazines of Reader's Digest Association Inc., from 2005 to 2007 and, when she was approached with the job at the top of the organization, she initially balked.

Ultimately inspired by the challenge—"I was pissed off watching it fall apart while I was gone," she says—job number one became bolstering the brand, reviving it financially after a series of bad investments and changing just about everything in the way it operates, starting with the name.

Enter Trusted Media Brands, a deliberately bland moniker to take the focus off of its flagship title, Reader's Digest. The company also publishes Taste of Home, Family Handyman and a number of other titles.

Kintzer joins the Ad Lib podcast to explain how Reader's Digest, against all odds, has not only survived. but is thriving. A third of its 12 million monthly readers are millennials she says. She shares the strategy and tactics behind bringing Trusted Media Brands back from two bankruptcies, and the company's digital play across all of its titles.

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