Meredith Corporation has made a big move, spending a reported $60 million to buy Shape Magazine from American Media Inc. They plan to fold their own fitness mag, the aptly titled Fitness Magazine, into Shape.
That money will also get AMI the websites for Natural Health and Fit Pregnancy; the print publications of those brands will be no more (RIP Fit Pregnancy as we knew it, a niche publication if there ever was one). Starting in May, former subscribers of Fitness will get the new Shape sent to them, though the websites will still remain separate entities. Meredith is unsurprising very excited about this purchase, as it will get them more of those always-coveted "millennial women" readers. It's in keeping with the changes they've made to several other women's titles, like ending Ladies' Home Journal as it once stood and taking over Martha Stewart Weddings, Martha Stewart Living and marthastewart.com. But outside of Meredith's moves, the depletion of straight fitness publications is noteworthy in itself, given the "fashionization" of competitors like Self.
What's going to happen to the teams responsible for Shape and Fitness, as well as Natural Health and Fit Pregnancy, is unclear. (Layoffs seem inevitable.) In a reported effort to save money, Shape was without an official editor in chief for months, instead relying on a few top editors working together. Acting editorial director David Zinczenko, who runs Galvanized, an "editorial-consulting firm," will be moving over to this new Shape/Fitness hybrid, but as of now, that's all we know about our future ability to be taught exactly how to get a better body. Update: Shape's current editor in chief, Elizabeth Goodman Artis, will stay on in that role, while Fitness's editor in chief Betty Wong will be the VP of brand development for the Shape and Fitness websites.
Images via Shape and Fitness