As another sour year for print advertising draws to an end, magazine publishers are killing unprofitable publications in an effort to set their
finances on a firmer footing. On Friday, Martha Stewart Living announced that it would shut Whole Living magazine after it failed to receive a viable offer from potential buyers.
The Jan/Feb issue will be the last. Some 65-70 staffers will be affected.
Whole Living’s editorial content will be
folded into MSLO’s flagship title, Martha Stewart Living, and content produced under the Whole Living brand will “be leveraged across our media platforms,”
according to MSLO CEO Lisa Gersh.
MSLO had announced at the beginning of November that it was putting the organic and health-conscious food title up for sale, and would close it if it
couldn’t find a buyer.
The company received a $2.5 million bid for Whole Living from Jack Kliger, previously the CEO of lifestyle and enthusiast publisher Hachette Filipacchi,
with financial backing from OpenGate Capital. But the deal fell through for undisclosed reasons, according to The Wall Street Journal.
In the same announcement, MSLO revealed that it
would also cease publication of Everyday Food, laying off around 12% of its workforce of 600.
Like many peers in the consumer magazine business, Everyday Food and Whole
Living have suffered from declining print ad pages. In the first nine months of 2012, Everyday Food saw ad pages slump 8.7% from 232 to 212, while Whole Living fell 11.1% from
394 to 350, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. In the same period ad pages at Martha Stewart Living tumbled 32% to 498.
2012 has already seen a number of magazines shuttered.
Newsweek is set to cease publishing its print edition at the end of the year, and earlier this week, Bonnier revealed it will cease publication of Caribbean Live and Travel. Soap
Opera Weekly ceased publication in April of this year.