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Family Circle, a pillar of women's magazines, will shut down after 87 years

The publication becomes the third of the once-dominant Seven Sisters of women's magazines to close, joining Ladies' Home Journal and McCall's.
Image: Meredith Corp
A Family Circle magazine on a display rack in a grocery store, in Des Moines, Iowa, the hometown of its publisher, Meredith Corp., in May 2005.Charlie Neibergall / AP file

Family Circle, one of the venerable Seven Sisters of cozy home magazines, will shut down after it sends its December issue to its millions of subscribers, its publisher said Wednesday.

Meredith Corp., which bought Family Circle in 2005, also owns similar magazines like Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, Magnolia, Martha Stewart Living and Southern Living, many of them acquired when the company bought Time Inc.'s magazine assets in 2017.

Meredith said at the time that it hoped to generate $500 million in new revenue through cost cuts and sales.

Family Circle had slightly more than 4 million subscribers at the end of June, the last period for which complete figures were available, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. Those customers will get other magazines from the company's stable, Meredith said.

Family Circle, which was founded in 1932, was classed as one of the leading women's interest magazines in American publishing, along with Ladies' Home Journal, McCall's, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Woman's Day and Redbook — making up the so-called Seven Sisters. McCall's went out of business in 2002, and Ladies' Home Journal ceased publication in 2014.

In September of last year, it underwent a major redesign that included a shift of focus to emphasize parenting, particularly moms with teenagers. Longstanding departments like style, home, food, health and family were ditched in favor of reporting on "life and the way we live it," Meredith said at the time.

But in a statement on Wednesday, Doug Olson, president of Meredith's magazine division, indicated that Family Circle wasn't performing as well as its sister magazines, saying the company wanted to invest in properties with "the highest growth potential."

"Sometimes, that means making hard decisions," he said.

Rory Evans, Family Circle's executive editor, will become an executive editor of Real Simple, sharing the title with Liz Vaccariello, a Meredith vice president and group content editor, the company said. Cheryl Brown, Family Circle's editor-in-chief, will become executive editor of Health magazine.