John Relihan, CEO of Media24 Magazines, said in response to an enquiry from TheMediaOnline the talks are about the possibility of this subsidiary taking over publishing the South African version of the magazine.
The Australian subsidiary, which is the licensor, “already effectively markets and sells other Reader’s Digest product such as music and books in the region”.
“They are one of the most successful subsidiaries in the RD group en will be better positioned to unlock synergies and grow the title in our region,” he said.
Relihan said Reader’s Digest was not closing down. “It has been around for fifty years and as you will see from the ABCs the circulation is steadily improving. We think it is a very nice read and has a place in the market.”
Reader’s Digest‘s local circulation figures show a quarter-to-quarter increase from 64,903 (Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), July to September 2007) to 65,186 in October to December 2007. The latest figure represents a period-on-period decrease from 66,267 in October to December 2006, and 75,889 in October to December 2005.
Relihan said the magazine was “quite different to the other magazines in our stable”.
“It is largely a subscriber based business model with more that 85% of the circulation being subscribers. It requires a specialised infrastructure and focus to run it effectively. Media24 is largely a retail focussed magazine company Ã¢Â€Â“ we know how to get large volumes of magazines to more than 14,000 sales points in Southern Africa,” he said.
Relihan said it was not yet clear how the publication’s employees would be affected as the matter was still “very much a discussion”.
“So, it is business as usual for Reader’s Digest,” he said.