Media of Birmingham has learned that Birmingham-based Southern Living has laid off five to seven staff members today on the editorial side of the magazine, including employees in the food, travel, home, art and photo departments. The cuts leave about 85 staff members in place in editorial.
The magazine lost 26.9 percent in ad sales comparing the first quarter of 2008 and 2009.
Southern Progress Corporation, which publishes Southern Living, shed 200 people in the last quarter of 2008, reducing its staff in Birmingham to 500 employees. It also closed Cottage Living magazine.
Unlike the previous rounds, we’ve heard that supervisors informed laid-off employees to pack and leave the building by 5 p.m. today, rather than the two to four weeks transition time given to eliminated employees. No word on whether they were offered severance packages.
Earlier this week, the Birmingham News reduced salaries and cut part-time positions.
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Update 6/9/09: After laying off a Homes staffer on Friday, Southern Living posted an opening for an assistant homes editor just four days later (June 9): [It appears the job listing was taken down shortly after discovery by magazine employees.]
Assistant Homes Editor – Southern Living
United States – Alabama – Birmingham
Posting Job Description
Southern Living is seeking an assistant editor to help produce stories and write for the Homes section.
Duties: Emphasis on writing and packaging our monthly homes line-up with a fresh voice that reaches out to a younger reader. Will also coordinate photography with photographers and stylists. Attend monthly story conferences, previews, and issue reviews. Develop a strong network of homes and/or garden contacts around the South. Stay abreast of homes topics and trends.
Requirements: 3-5 years experience at a lifestyle title or equivalent with top-notch writing, editing, and design skills. Ideal candidates will possess a four-year degree in English, Art, design or other related field. Hands-on experience in interior design or architecture a plus. Should have strong organizational skills. High energy, flexibility, and an ability to work as part of a creative team a must.
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Update 7/8/09: The ad returns a month later. The wording is exactly the same, except for the title, assistant/associate homes editor (instead of associate homes editor). Looks like the magazine is bargain hunting …
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