Reader's Digest Shuts Down New Choices Magazine

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The Reader's Digest Association said yesterday that it would stop publishing New Choices magazine after the May/June issue.


Though the magazine, which includes health, personal finance, and travel information for men and women from age 50 to retirement, was the recipient of numerous editorial awards, Reader's Digest said it struggled financially. It was hurt by the economic downturn, the demise of the "stamp-sheet" marketing channel for acquiring new subscribers, and postal increases.


"It is always sad to see a magazine close, especially one like New Choices," said Dom Rossi, executive publisher of Reader's Digest U.S. Magazines. "Our team made a valiant effort to support New Choices, but it was not sustained in the marketplace without an endemic advertising base."


The company's strategy in the United States continues to focus on Reader's Digest, the flagship publication, as well as do-it-yourself magazines such as The Family Handyman, which the company said has been showing strength, and American Woodworker, which has gained market share over the past year.


Readers' Digest, Pleasantville, NY, said Selecciones, the Reader's Digest edition published for U.S. Hispanics, and Reader's Digest Large Print edition, are also both up in circulation and advertising in Fiscal 2002.


Despite closing New Choices, Reader's Digest said it intends to continue reaching out to the mature market. It is retaining the New Choices brand and subscriber list to use with other vehicles such as Reader's Digest, Reader's Digest Large Print, the Internet and books.


New Choices was acquired in 1988 from Whitney Communications Co.


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