Reader's Digest Becomes More Digested, Slashes Rate Base, Frequency, Emphasizes Digital 'Versions'

Reader's Digest, one of the last great mass circulation magazines, announced plans to become, well, considerably more digested, slashing its circulation rate base to 5.5 million from 8 million currently, and cutting its frequency to 10-times-a-year from monthly. The plan, unveiled this morning, comes as the magazine industry struggles to convert from print to a digital publishing era, and part of the Reader's Digest plan relies on an expansion of digital "versions" of the magazine and related products.

"As one of the world's largest producers of original content, we will continue our transformation into an innovative multimedia brand by delivering content to users whenever and by whatever means they want, through expanded digital and print investments and the development of new mobile, video, and multimedia applications," stated Eva Dillon, president of the Reader's Digest Community, noting that the RD brand is currently valued at more than $1 billion, and includes 50 editions worldwide.



The core of the digital expansion focuses on a "suite of new products," the Reader's Digest Association bills as "Reader's Digest Versions" that will be rolled out over the next year.

Despite the contraction of the flagship's circulation rate base, the association said the RD brand's total global print circulation will be about 14.5 million, making it the largest paid circulation magazine in the world.

In related moves, the association promoted Peggy Northrop from U.S. editor-in-chief to global editor-in-chief, and named Amy Radin senior vice president-chief marketing officer, responsible for all of RDA's global marketing, including digital and research. Radin had been executive vice president & Global Direct Banking Head at Citigroup.

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