July 15, 2024

People Magazine Heads to New Ownership. Again.

But Mr. Vogel acknowledged that People and another Meredith magazine, Entertainment Weekly, might not seem like logical fits at first glance. They are “not as intent-driven as the rest of the things we do,” he told investors — meaning they are not as likely to be visited by readers in search of practical information, Dotdash’s stock in trade.

Aileen Gallagher, a professor of magazine journalism at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, questioned whether the addition of People made sense for its next owner. “The rest of the Meredith publications, I can see where they fit into Dotdash’s portfolio,” she said. “People is a tough call.”

Unlike Dotdash’s titles, People is centered on a weekly print magazine, a top seller at supermarket checkout lanes. People’s average paid print circulation, nearly three million, is higher than that of any other magazine other than Better Homes Gardens and two publications from AARP, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.

IAC executives said there were no immediate plans to scrap the print editions of the Meredith magazines but they expected print media’s broad decline to continue. “We’re going to carefully manage the print business,” Tim Quinn, Dotdash’s chief financial officer, said on the investors’ call. “We think there’s an opportunity to focus on the top titles and quality subscribers.”

In an interview, Mr. Vogel declined to discuss People directly, because the merger has yet to close, but he said that Dotdash sees value in content with broad appeal. “We’re not trying to build audiences and sell ads, though it is ultimately what we do,” he said. “We’re trying to build relationships with people, where they come to us.”

Time Inc., a dominant force in American publishing of the 20th century, runs deep in People’s DNA. The magazine was founded in 1974 as spinoff of a one-page feature in Time, called People.

“There is nothing abstract about our name,” Richard B. Stolley, the founding editor, wrote in a letter to readers in the first issue, which had Mia Farrow on the cover. “People is what we are all about.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/15/business/media/people-magazine-dotdash-meredith.html

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