Entertainment Weekly, InStyle and four other Meredith magazines will cease print publications
Barry Diller’s IAC/Interactive Corp is ending the print editions of Entertainment Weekly, InStyle and four other titles acquired from Meredith Corporation last year, turning them into digital-only properties.
The New York-based digital media company told employees that EW, InStyle, EatingWell, Health, Parents and People en Español will be available only online starting April.
“We have said from the beginning, buying Meredith was about buying brands, not magazines or websites,” Dotdash Meredith CEO Neil Vogel wrote in a memo to employees obtained by the Los Angeles Times. “It is not news to anyone that there has been a pronounced shift in readership and advertising from print to digital, and as a result, for a few important brands, print is no longer serving the brand’s core purpose.”
The move, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, reflects the declining circulation and revenue for print media as audiences continue to turn to digital devices for their content. The consumer shift to digital accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The shutdown comes only months after IAC acquired the titles from Meredith for $1.8 billion in October. The deal closed in December.
Vogel said the company always intended to unlock the digital potential of the titles, adding: “we are going to move to a digital-only future for these brands, which will help us to unlock their full potential.”
Dotdash Meredith will continue to publish print editions of 19 other titles, including People, Better Homes & Gardens and Southern Living.
“Naysayers will interpret this as another nail in print’s coffin,” Vogel wrote. “They couldn’t be more wrong — print remains core to Dotdash Meredith.”
Younger viewers aren’t watching TV, but ad-makers are finding a way to reach them through the big game.
Vogel might get some disagreement on that point from the 200 employees expected to lose their jobs as part of the move.
Parents had the longest run among the axed print titles, first founded in 1926 as a guide to child rearing.
Entertainment Weekly has been a pop culture staple since it was launched by Time Inc. in 1990. The magazine’s covers have long been coveted newsstand real estate for studios and networks pushing their new movies and television shows.
“Not so long ago, that you’d walk up to a newsstand and be confronted by hundreds of covers,” said Cable Neuhaus, a former general editor and Los Angeles bureau chief for Entertainment Weekly. “The best ones stood out — particularly if you had the right star on the cover at the exact right moment. A week early or late would make all the difference. Hollywood got that, so they would, for the most part, try to cooperate with EW on timing. When an amazing picture and strong cover-lines combined at the just-perfect moment — bang — everyone was pleased. The studio, the star and the readers.”
Neuhaus is skeptical a digital version of EW will have the same impact.
“It’s too ephemeral,” he said. “For example, who ever turns an internet splash page into a poster? But that used to happen regularly with iconic magazine covers.”
InStyle, which focuses on celebrity style and fashion advice, has been in print since 1994.
Health is a lifestyle title aimed at women, launched by Meredith in 1981. People en Español debuted in 1996 as a Spanish-language version of the flagship celebrity title People.
Josh Rottenberg contributed to this report.
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