Cooking Light magazine to merge with EatingWell, Meredith Corp. says


Cooking Light, a food magazine that’s based in Birmingham, will end its regular print run at the end of this year, merging with another publication, EatingWell

Meredith Corp., the Iowa-based company that owns both magazines, announced the change this week. Cooking Light, a subscription magazine, has been around since 1987 and currently publishes 11 times per year. It has a loyal fan base, and has been popular with readers who want healthy recipes and nutrition tips. 

An expanded version of EatingWell will debut in 2019 with the January/February issue, Meredith Corp. said. The company anticipates a blended circulation of nearly 1.8 million. The editorial team for EatingWell is based in Vermont, and will remain there, led by editor-in-chief Jessie Price, the company said. 

Cooking Light isn’t going away entirely; it will become a “special interest” title that publishes six times per year and is available only at newsstands. Cooking Light and EatingWell will continue to have separate online presences, as well. 

“We felt there was a greater opportunity in combining forces, and we had to make a bet on one brand in that healthy lifestyle space, and we picked ‘EatingWell,'” Carey Witmer, executive vice president and group publisher of Meredith Food Group, said in an interview with Forbes. “That might seem strange because it’s the smaller of the two, but we love the name — it reflects how consumers are eating food and living today.”

About 200 jobs have been cut throughout the company as a result of the merger, according to reports in The Wall Street Journal and Eater. Most of the layoffs were in the New York area, Meredith spokesman Art Slusark told the Des Moines Register. Fifteen jobs were eliminated in Des Moines and 25 in Birmingham, according to the Register. 

In a related move, Meredith Corp. is scaling back on Coastal Living, also based in Birmingham. The magazine will become a special interest title that’s available only at newsstands. 

Meredith Corp, a publishing giant that has more than a dozen food-related brands, will continue to have a presence in Birmingham. 

“The Birmingham, Alabama, facility will continue to serve as a Meredith hub for food-related content creation and distribution across platforms,” Meredith Corp. said via a  press release. “The editorial teams of Food & Wine and Southern Living will remain based there under the purview of editors-in-chief Hunter Lewis and Sid Evans, respectively.”

Meredith Corp. is streamlining operations after acquiring Time Inc. in January for $2.8 billion. Meredith cut 200 jobs in March, according to The Wall Street Journal, and said it planned to eliminate another 1,000 jobs this year.  

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