It was only the eighth day of the new year when the first magazine casualty of 2009 was trumpeted to the publishing world. Taking the first bullet? Country Home and its 40-strong staff, announced by Meredith as part of greater company-wide cost-cutting measures. Additional cutbacks were announced in 250 total company layoffs and the relocation of the creative functions of its ReadyMade and Parents.com properties (based in Berkeley, Calif. and New York City, respectively) to Meredith's corporate headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa. According to Meredith, the restructuring will cost $16 million.
Country Home began as a special publication from Better Homes and Gardens before growing subscription-worthy legs in 1986. The most recent circulation data from the Audit Bureau of
Circulations put Country Home at about 1.27 million, and Media Industry Newsletter reports its ad pages were down nearly 25 percent in 2008 versus the year before.
In the afterlife, Country Home joins fellow shelter magazines including Condé Nast's House and Garden, Hearst's O at Home and Time Inc.'s Cottage Living, all which were told to pack up their immaculately designed and carefully organized desks last year.