Dotdash, which bought Meredith Corp. for $2.7 million in 2020, announced Thursday that it will no longer offer print versions of six popular magazines, including Entertainment Weekly and InStyle.
Citing more growth online, the decision was announcement by Dotdash Meredith CEO Neil Vogel in a memo to staff that was obtained by Variety.
“Effective today, we will no longer be printing monthly magazines for EatingWell, Entertainment Weekly, Health, InStyle, Parents, and People en Español,” Vogel wrote in the memo.
These magazines will turn into digital-only publications, but the decision also leads to the layoff of around 200 workers. Vogel acknowledged that “transitions like this can be very difficult,” but the company hopes to fill 100 open positions at a variety of magazines with those impacted by the move.
Online engagement in Parents, InStyle, and EatingWell were up 40% year over year, the memo said. Nineteen other print magazines owned by Dotdash will continue to be provided in their print forms.
Vogel also noted the recent trend from a focus on print publication to a dramatic shift toward online publications. The trend was escalated by the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
“It is not news to anyone that there has been a pronounced shift in readership and advertising from print to digital, and as a result, for a few important brands, print is no longer serving the brand’s core purpose,” Vogel said in the memo.
Dotdash plans to invest $80 million in its publications over the coming year across all its brands, Vogel said. He noted that magazines like People, BHG, Southern Living, and Wood would still be available in their print editions. He also pointed out that the company will print 350 million magazines in 2022.
“Naysayers will interpret this as another nail in print’s coffin. They couldn’t be more wrong,” Vogel added.
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