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Meredith Shutters ReadyMade Magazine; Resources Shift To Digital

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Meredith Corp. (NYSE: MDP) is shuttering 10-year-old ReadyMade magazine, a DIY publication that was aimed at younger readers than the typical readers in the shelter category. The company will take a $10 million charge related to the closure, which comes as the economy is showing signs of weakening.

Meredith bought the title in 2006 and in early 2009, as the recession deepened, it relocated production of ReadyMade and to Des Moines, where the publisher is based. At that time, Meredith slashed 250 jobs and closed Country Home magazine.

While things don’t appear to be as dim as they were two years ago, magazines still haven’t completely recovered yet from the recession either. And the next few years don’t show any evidence of a major comeback. In its Global Media and Entertainment Outlook this week, PwC said that combined advertising and circulation revenues for both print and digital consumer magazines edged up a meager 0.4 percent in 2010 following a 14.2 percent decline in 2009. Growth will average 3.5 percent compounded annually during the next five years to $25.1 billion in 2015 from $21.2 billion in 2010. Despite a sustained six-year increase, spending in 2015 will still remain lower than in 2007, according to PwC.

Still, Meredith has been working to capitalize on its digital growth and has been doing a lot of hiring lately to build up that side of the business, in face of print’s continued struggles. That’s one of the reasons the under-performing ReadyMade had to go — so Meredith could continue to shift its resources to digital, which is where the growth is.

Meredith Chairman and CEO Steve Lacy said as much in a statement. He also noted that Meredith has added or created nearly 200 jobs over the past year, mostly on the digital and integrated marketing sides.

Last week, ex-AOL (NYSE: AOL) exec Dick Porter was hired as EVP & president, Media Sales. In addition, four executives in National Media Group were promoted, including Liz Schimel, who was hired from Nokia (NYSE: NOK) last fall as EVP for consumer relationship management and digital media. Schimel is now EVP & Chief Digital Officer and will also oversee Meredith’s Consumer Marketing activities. Release

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