Is There Still a Place for Women's Magazines?

May 13, 2014

After a 130 year run, Ladies Home Journal is drastically reducing its publication schedule and ending its subscription service, another in a long line of women’s magazines to try and reinvent itself or discontinue publication in the digital age. While some view magazines like the Journal as remnants of a bygone era, former editor-in-chief of McCall’s magazine Sally Koslow says that by losing publications like the Journal, we lose a unique and historic forum for trusted conversation about women’s issues. Do we? To start this hour on Talk of Iowa, Koslow talks with host Charity Nebbe.

Then, professor and author Carolyn Kitch joins the conversation. She used to write for Good Housekeeping and McCall’s in the 1980’s and 90's.  She says the end of Ladies Home Journal  means more than we might think at first glance. It was not only the first magazine to feature different illustrations on its cover for every issue, but it was also a trailblazer when it came to the economics of publishing a magazine. "It was the first magazine to hit 1 million subscribers," she tells Nebbe during this hour on Talk of Iowa.

Kitch also tells Nebbe how images of women portrayed in magazines change over time and correlate with the economy after Brooke Birmingham, whose weight loss story went viral last week, tells us about her ordeal with Shape Magazine.