View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. Publishers
  2. Magazines
April 30, 2024

Reader’s Digest UK closes due to ‘unforgiving’ magazine landscape

The magazine's editor said it has "come to an end" in the UK after 86 years.

By Charlotte Tobitt

Reader’s Digest magazine has closed in the UK, according to its editor-in-chief of six years.

Eva Mackevic announced on Linkedin on Monday evening that Reader’s Digest UK has “come to an end” after 86 years.

She wrote: “Unfortunately, the company just couldn’t withstand the financial pressures of today’s unforgiving magazine publishing landscape and has ceased to trade.”

The Canadian edition of Reader’s Digest similarly shut down at the end of last year blaming “declining ad sales revenues, increased production and delivery costs and changes in consumer reading habits”.

The most recent articles on the Reader’s Digest UK online homepage appear to have been published on Wednesday 24 April – six days ago at the time of writing.

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Mackevic informed writers who are waiting to be paid that she has been “assured that the insolvency practitioners are working to communicate with everyone about the next steps”.

Content from our partners
New technology from EX.CO helps publishers double on-site video revenue
Five ways to fail in media job interviews
How Germany's Ippen.Media mastered content planning across 86 newsrooms

Reader’s Digest UK, which is licensed out by the US parent company, has had a turbulent recent history. In 2010 it went into administration due to a £125m pension fund deficit.

It was saved by private equity fund Better Capital under a Voluntary Company Arrangement with creditors that meant it could take on the business without the pension debts. Better Capital paid around £14m for Reader’s Digest and then invested a further £9m – although in 2013 it sacked 95 out of 120 staff after it closed its retail business and it continued to make substantial losses.

Better Capital sold the magazine brand almost four years later for just £1.

It was taken on by venture capitalist Mike Luckwell who had a vision to revive the retail arm and expand the brand into financial services to emulate the success of Saga and “have some of the crumbs from their table”. Luckwell told Press Gazette he was “confident that we will make a profit within the next two and a half months”.

Luckwell did get the magazine into the black and sold it in 2018 to its former chief executive Gary Hopkins who “worked closely” with him on that turnaround. Hopkins said at the time: “There are some great new opportunities for Reader’s Digest and I look forward to being able to implement a new strategy for Reader’s Digest going forward.”

Vivat Direct Ltd continues to control the UK brand although Hopkins is no longer involved, according to his Linkedin.

The print circulation of Reader’s Digest UK is no longer published by ABC. The latest available is 106,335 in July to December 2016. This compares to a circulation of 403,458 in the first half of 2010 and more than one million in 2001.

In the US, where it was founded in 1922, Reader’s Digest continues to be published by Trusted Media Brands.

Topics in this article :

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network