Why the Magazine Industry is Like High School

It's amazing to me how the magazine world is full of adults acting like gossiping little teenage girls!  Over the course of the last several days, magazine blogs and newspapers have been breathlessly reporting the breakup of Every Day with Rachael Ray and its owner, Reader's Digest.  Right after that news was announced, Meredith announced that it was acquiring the magazine.  Then Reader's Digest said, no no no, not so fast!  They say they have only agreed in principle to sell the magazine to Meredith.

So what's the source of all the drama?  Apparently, Reader's Digest isn't happy that Rachael Ray wants control of her image and brand.  Okay, that was a pretty biased way to characterize it, but heck, the blog is called Everything Rachael Ray, right?  The way the teenage girls say it is:

Keep in mind that this is only a rumor, but according to Adweek, the biggest reason for Reader’s Digest Association (RDA) selling Every Day with Rachael Ray to Meredith yesterday was that Rachael Ray wanted more money. One source claimed that Ray was never happy with the amount of money she was getting from the magazine, and another said, “Rachael wanted a better deal, and they [RDA] [weren't] prepared to do it.

Another problem was RDA’s contract with Ray, which kept the company from growing the title. “Because our agreement limited our participation to producing just a magazine, we were unable to expand the brand and its content across multiple platforms,” RDA’s CEO, Robert Guth, admitted. “Going forward, it was not a fit with our master brand strategy.”

So where does that leave us?  I have no clue.  Meredith publishes Better Homes and Gardens, Fitness, and American Baby, so we at least know they have their act together.  I'll keep an eye out for any more news, but I am excited about the new changes that might come along with the change in ownership.

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