Traditional Home

Getting The Scoop On Big Print Publications From A Print Veteran Publisher


Had the privilege of meeting a real life magazine publisher, Beth McDonough, formerly with the designer favorite magazine, Traditional Home. We talked shop, which for me is giddy because I’m just a babe in the magazine world. Actually I’m not even in the magazine world, as I’m a veteran of digital. As a blogger, I knew how to out-rank web pages of glossy magazines. Thanks to their overly tight controls of how they tried to keep users on their websites, I understood how Google worked, and why Google wanted the more links off the page as possible - a signal of a truly helpful web page.

Today, as corporate print magazines reduce their print schedules, and require consumers to go to the store to pick up from the shelf, I’m still mind boggled as to why that is a good idea. Sounds like veteran print magazine extremely talented editorial staff also don’t see it as a good idea. And the profit sheets of these big corporate publication mergers also don’t see it as a good idea.

Thoughtfulness of a good reading and connecting experience is not factored into the big picture strategies coming from the C Suite, and as readers, we can tell. I’m so lucky to live in the same place as this veteran publisher, and that I could speak to her in real life at one of our local cafes, Ella’s Bellas. Print lives. Advertisers do want to see their branding in print. I am more hopeful than ever at the rise of niche media like mine here at Tin Shingle and at A Little Beacon Blog. The independent publications are going to do well if they know how to bottle this Advertiser enthusiasm. 

Traditional Home To Become a Special Interest Magazine

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Meredith publishing, under financial pressure after acquiring Time Inc. last year for $2.8 billion, laid off around 60 employees. Nearly half of the layoffs were from Entertainment Weekly and Traditional Home. Both publications have dramatically slashed their printing schedules, with Entertainment Weekly cutting back to a monthly schedule and Traditional Home will become a quarterly special interest publication, publishing 4 times a year.

Among the more high profile cuts include publisher Beth McDonough. Traditional Home’s chief editor Jill Waage avoided the chopping block, however most of her staff’s jobs were not spared. Business of Home reported that Wagge has spent 11 years in Meredith’s special interest media division, so her expertise is a valuable commodity.

This is not the first time Traditional Home has seen major changes. In 2017, its publication schedule went from eight yearly issues to only six. In 2018, senior design and market editor Tori Mellot resigned and was not replaced.

Recently, the hearth and home niche at Meredith has taken quite a beating over the last few years. Cooking Light and Coastal Living are no longer on a regular publication schedule. The internal competition for advertisement dollars is proving too strenuous for future viability.

Said a spokesperson for Meredith in the New York Post: “We had five subscription magazines in the home category: Better Homes & Gardens, Southern Living, Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living and Traditional Home. That’s a lot of competition internally for ad dollars, let alone when you consider outside competitors in the space.”

Says Katie of Tin Shingle: “Or is that what happens when your purchase titles and cannibalize your market share?”

Tin Shingle will be monitoring media moves to update our Media Contact Library.