|Reader's Digest 2009 (NY Times)
||[Jul. 5th, 2009|01:26 pm]
From the New York Times 19th. June 2009
The editorial team had even considered turning Reader’s Digest into a right-wing handbook, a companion to Fox News. “It was a supposition,” Ms. Berner said, that half the country is annoyed that Barack Obama is president.
“What if we just go after them?” said Ms. Berner, who has a framed photograph of President Obama in her office. But testing the right-wing handbook idea with cover lines like advocating prayer in schools flopped.
“What worked was conservative values,” Ms. Berner said.
In some ways, the shift is a return to the magazine’s roots. Founded in 1922 as a compendium of articles, Reader’s Digest reached its height of popularity in the 1970s, with a circulation of 17 million domestically.
But the good times have gone. After going public in 1990, it was bought by the consortium led by Ripplewood in 2007 for $2.8 billion. It has lost money every year since 2005, and has $2.1 billion in debt, high enough that analysts worry the company cannot pay it off on schedule. In February, Standard & Poor’s lowered its credit rating to CCC, a negative outlook. The company hired a new chief financial officer that month and says its debt-to-earnings ratio has improved.
Ms. Berner cut costs by about $25 million in the last quarter, but is under pressure to increase revenue. She is reorganizing the company’s brands around subjects like food and home. She has sold some educational units and is moving away from the widespread branding that put Reader’s Digest on everything from caskets to pet insurance.
“In one of the Latin American countries, we were selling vibrators,” she said.
As I understand it the frequency of the magazine is to be reduced from 12 copies per year to 10 copies per year with a planned drop in circulation. I guess selling vibrators (assumed to be sexual in nature) is off the agenda.
Comments "It is available through churches and at Wal-Marts.." (MetaFilter Community Weblog)
LATEST FROM READER'S DIGEST AUSTRALIA JULY 5th 2009
I’m currently single and enjoy play-acting during sex. Is a first date too soon to pull out a whip?
It’s definitely too early – you’ve just met your partner and haven’t had time to get to know each other. In the event your partner has actually fallen in love with you, he or she might be prone to do almost anything to please you, which does not necessarily reflect his or her normal state of sexual values and boundaries.
I think a visit from head office might be in order !! Senator Conroy - please take note !