Meredith Corporation, which owns titles like Better Homes and Gardens, Shape and Martha Stewart Living, announced Thursday that they are shuttering More magazine, a year after the publication revamped to target a wealthier demographic. The April 2016 issue will be its last; 30 employees are reportedly being let go.
A press release about the closing suggests that after the recession in the 2000s, advertising revenue never quite shot back up for More, a magazine for women over 40 (“of style and substance”). One could argue that that was partially due to the fact that the publication didn’t seem to be able to grow their digital presence (coincidentally, I tried to go to their site last week and it was completely down)—or that their audience wasn’t interested in what they did put out online.
“Despite a significant investment in More in 2015—including an increased trim size and higher quality paper stock that aligned with its upscale and affluent audience—More continued to face advertising challenges in the luxury marketplace,” the statement from Meredith reads. That “significant investment” is the magazine’s decision to, after realizing their readership was particularly wealthy, really go after those rich, educated ladies. Michelle Obama, for instance, guest edited their summer issue (the magazine was publishing 10 times a year, not monthly). A month before that decision, Meredith also combined Shape and Fitness; they’re currently touting the success of Fit Pregnancy and Baby.
More joins two other longstanding print publications that have recently been closed: Details and Lucky. It launched in 1997, and was originally edited by Myrna Blyth, who also edited Ladies’ Home Journal at the same time. When it was started, the Hamilton Spectator reported that More’s editors wanted to look at the “complex, challenging and exciting” years of a woman’s life through menopause and beyond. Its first cover girl was Lauren Hutton.
“Most magazines feel they need to use either celebrities or models because a magazine cover is a poster that tries to get your attention, to get you to buy it,” Blyth said, explaining the choice of a high-profile cover-woman.
But unlike magazines that “pursue and court women between ages 14 and 44 and then drop them while the bulk of the population is getting older, More is for women who feel they are not winding down but revving up,” she stresses.
Blyth has worked her way through teen mags that told her how to zap zits, to fashion and beauty guides, and bridal and parenting publications.
“Lately, however, even though there are many good magazines, my friends and I have not been able to find the publication that can look us in the eye and speak directly and unequivocally to us” in the menopausal years.
The March issue of More features Diane Lane; recently, readers have critiqued the magazine, arguing that it doesn’t actually provide content for the demographic they say they do (read: 60 plus).
“A fond farewell to all the fabulous More team! The best Reader’s, the best writers, best creatives ever! I love you all!” current Editor in Chief Lesley Jane Seymour wrote on Facebook.
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Image via More.