Ladies' Home Journal Folds After 131 Years

Ad slump blamed for end to monthly publication

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 25, 2014 12:21 AM CDT

(Newser) – Another one of the "Seven Sisters" of women's magazines is calling it a day. After 131 years, Ladies' Home Journal will cease monthly publication in July. It will survive as a quarterly special interest publication and its website will stay alive, though no subscriptions will be offered and all 35 staff are being laid off, reports AdAge. The magazine still had 3.2 million subscribers, but advertising revenue was down 23% this year, and it was "more challenged than our other titles because it wasn't a category leader," says a spokesman for parent company Meredith.

The other Seven Sisters of influential women's magazines dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries include Better Homes and Gardens, Redbook, Family Circle, Woman's Day, and Good Housekeeping. A seventh, McCall's, folded in 2002. "You can't overestimate the importance of those magazines," a professor of popular culture tells the Wall Street Journal. "They were a connection to a larger culture that explained how to decorate, how to raise children, and all the rest of it." But analysts say advertisers now prefer to spend their money online or on magazines with a narrower focus.

The cover of the magazine's issue featuring Michelle Obama.   (AP Photo/Ladies' Home Journal, Kwaku Alston)
This image released by Meredith Corporation shows Sally Field on the cover of the May 2014 issue of "Ladies' Home Journal."   (AP Photo/Meredith Corporation)
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