Homemakers magazine being closed by owner Transcon after 45 years
After 45 years of publication, Homemakers magazine is being closed by its owners, Transcontinental Media. The 2011 holiday issue of the magazine will be its last. The magazine has had Jess Ross, formerly executive editor, as acting editor since the previous editor, Kathy Ullyott was let go in August. The French-language counterpart Madame magazine was closed in February.
According to the most recent (Fall 2011) PMB data, the magazine has over 1.4 million readers per issue as it comes to an end. There was no word on what would be happening to the staff of the magazine (we'd be glad to hear; click on comment, below).
The company said in a release that the profile of the Homemakers readership, was very similar to other women's magazines that it produces, including Canadian Living, ELLE Canada, Style at Home, More and Canadian Gardening. The magazine in recent years followed an "eat well/live well" positioning to distinguish it from Canadian Living.
"While this positioning has resonated well with readers, market conditions have made it increasingly challenging to maintain the current business model", explained Pierre Marcoux, senior vice president, business and consumer solutions group at Transcontinental Media. "After studying several scenarios, we have decided to focus our efforts on developing our core multiplatform brands while pursuing new, innovative publishing initiatives.”
Lynn Chambers, group publisher, said “It has been a tremendous privilege to work with the Homemakers team and I share with them a sense of pride that the quality of content in Homemakers has never been higher than it is today. Given the market changes, we have made the very difficult decision to stop publishing Homemakers and we would like to take this opportunity to thank our very loyal readers and advertisers over the years."
Homemakers began its life as Homemaker's Digest, published by Comac Communications Limited starting in 1966. At first, it was given away in stores, but later it became a controlled circulation powerhouse with as many as 1.2 million copies going into households with women with children under 18 living at home. Under the editorship of Jane Gale Hughes, the magazine became well-known for its relatively hard-hitting editorial, focussing on food, some fashion and lifestyle but also on national issues (and later, international issues under the editorship of Sally Armstrong). Under Hughes's editorship, for instance, the magazine created a successful national campaign to promote daylight use of headlights on cars for safety.A group of young advertising executives split off from the company and went head-to-head with Homemaker's by creating a digest publication called Recipes Only for several years, before the two were re-merged under the ownership of Telemedia; in turn, Telemedia was purchased by Transcontinental Inc. which explains why there were overlapping mandates between titles such as Homemakers (which lost its apostrophe a few years ago) and Canadian Living. Transcontinental converted Homemakers into wholly paid, with a circulation most recently of 287,000 and also redesigned it in a super-digest format.