86 years in print

Reader’s Digest UK closes

The monthly publication’s most recent print issue was dated May 2024
The monthly publication’s most recent print issue was dated May 2024

Reader’s Digest UK has come to an end after 86 years, according to its editor-in-chief.

Posting on LinkedIn yesterday (29 April), Eva Mackevic wrote: “After 86 wonderful years, I am very sad to share that Reader’s Digest UK has come to an end. It has been my privilege and joy to contribute to this iconic publication for nearly eight years, leading its talented team for the last six.

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

Mackevic paid tribute to her colleagues, as well as the magazine’s writers, and the PRs and brands that it has collaborated with over the years.

She added: “To any writers awaiting payment for their work, I’ve been assured that the insolvency practitioners are working to communicate with everyone about the next steps. I sincerely hope this process goes smoothly and swiftly for you.”

The monthly publication’s most recent print issue was dated May 2024 and the most recent story published on the homepage of the Reader’s Digest UK website was dated last Wednesday (24 April). The site also currently states: “Regrettably we are unable to accept any new subscription orders at this present time”.

The title was published by Vivat Direct Ltd, trading as Reader’s Digest, and it was printed by Warners Midlands.

Reader’s Digest was founded in the US in 1922, while its first UK publication was in 1938. It contained articles like health tips, financial advice, and recipes and was licensed by its parent company in the US. Trusted Media Brands continues to publish the US edition of Reader’s Digest.

The Telegraph said that having had a circulation of around one million copies per month in 2000, this dropped sharply during the following years.

The newspaper said that in 2014, the UK edition of Reader’s Digest was sold by private equity firm Better Capital for a nominal fee to media veteran Mike Luckwell. This came only four years after Better Capital had bought it out of administration.

When Better Capital took control, circulation was still over 400,000, but it subsequently dropped to less than half that number. And after Reader’s Digest UK closed its CD and DVD sales business in 2013, three-quarters of its print staff in London were cut to avoid a second administration, according to The Telegraph.

Press Gazette said the 2010 administration was due to a £125m pension fund deficit, and that a Voluntary Company Arrangement with creditors enabled Better Capital to take on the business without the pension debts.

The title’s most recent print circulation is not known as this has not been published by ABC for some time. But Press Gazette said that, as of July to December 2016, it stood at 106,335.