The word is that Seventeen magazine may be closing, as early as this month. Calls to Hearst Publications and emails have gone unanswered. Sources tell me that it’s pretty likely Seventeen will be 86’d before the end of the year if not sooner.
Seventeen has been in trouble for a while. Last year it went from monthly to just six issues a year. The famed magazine is aimed at 13 to 19 year olds. Sylvia Plath once wrote for it.
Recently Hearst has been in an uproar, installing their digital chief Troy Young as head of all the magazines. Since then, heads have rolled on the print side as Young, with no magazine history, pulls apart what’s left of the company. He recently ousted Joanna Coles, editorial director and former editor in chief of Cosmopolitan. Redbook magazine will become digital-only in 2019.
Dozens more experienced editors have left. I’m told subscribers will be offered Women’s Health, Woman’s Day, Oprah, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, or Marie Claire.
Seventeen launched in 1944 with Triangle Publications, the same company that also published TV Guide. Hearst bought Seventeen in 2003 from K-III Publications, which bought it from News Corp, who had bought it from Triangle.
If Seventeen is done, Cosmopolitan may be next. The few remaining titles– Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Marie Claire, Harpers Bazaar, Oprah– may be all that’s left of Hearst soon. Even though William Randolph Hearst made his fortune as a publisher, Hearst as we know it may turn into a very different company. They recently bought Fitch, a financial ratings agency. I guess that way Fitch can’t give Hearst a bad rating!
Things are no better at Hearst’s past rival, Conde Nast. Vanity Fair has cut back on the number of issues per year, many magazines are gone or are for sale as the company tries to get more into digital and video projects itself. The Conde Nast empire is long gone. Time Life doesn’t exist, as the magazines have been sold off piecemeal to people who didn’t want them. Time Magazine is now owned by a wealthy couple.