The new look of Cooking Light and Southern Living


Two Birmingham-based Southern Progress magazines, Cooking Light and Southern Living, have rolled out major redesigns in the past month.

Cooking Light

cooking light september 2009 coverOur exclusive news on the changing editors at Cooking Light pulled in some strong comments about the magazine’s redesign, unveiled in September.

Cooking Light asked one blogger to review the new look, and give away a copy as well. Tina of Mommy’s Kitchen wrote, “Adding pictures to each recipe was a awesome idea on their part.” (The magazine asked for another blogger’s opinion.)

Emily at Cooking Inside the Lines also liked the redesign: “As a devout reader of Cooking Light magazine my message to the editorial staff is … I completely approve!”

But Emily Brackett at Visible Logic disagrees, saying the magazine “has taken a turn for the worse.”

Southern Living

southern living october 2009 coverThe Washington Post wrote about October’s makeover of Southern Living: “The redesigned October issue, which has pumpkin-shaped cakes on the cover and hits newsstands Sept. 29, is not a radical change.”

Editor in chief Eleanor Griffin tells Mr. Magazine, “I want to give them (readers) something pleasurable, I want to give them a memory, I want to give them an experience.”

Reaction on the magazine’s forum seems mixed so far.

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Have you seen the redesigns? What do you think? Tell us in the comments.

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Read more Birmingham media updates.

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6 responses to “The new look of Cooking Light and Southern Living

  1. Your article makes it seem as if the Cooking Light redesign is going over well when in fact it is not. Far from it. The consensus on the Cooking Light message board is a big thumbs down. The readers seem to think the magazine has been “dumbed down” and the photography is pretty horrendous. There is not much of substance to read or learn anymore from the magazine. Trust in the new editor and art director is rather shaky.

  2. Thank you for the reply. From the Cooking Light message board I read that the editor is listening to comments but I am concerned that there will only be some patronizing changes to appease those who aren’t pleased. A change such as returning the index to the back of the magazine which can’t be all that difficult to do. Another comment on the message board stated that it probably cost a ton of money to do this redesign so it is doubtful that much of anything will be done. I am not at all against some fine-tuning of the magazine but it is a disgrace what has been done to such a wonderful Birmingham, AL produced publication.

  3. Southern Living falls flat, but Cooking Light is just an abomination. If I wanted a Better Homes and Gardens that looks like it was styled in the ’90s, that’s what I’d subscribe to.

    I seriously doubt Birmingham has no control over the redesigns after the moving in of New York people.
    Unfortunately, writing letters and complaining about the magazine to the editor, rarely changes anything.

  4. The new look of CookingLight is terrible, this “modern” new look. That’s what the editor , Scott Mowbray told my sister when she wrote to say they lost a long time customer. “Sorry to lose you to our new “modern” look. It looks cheap and uninteresting. It’s been my favorite magazine since 1991 so I really hate this end to a very good thing. Jane

  5. Alynne Douglass

    I have loved Cooking Light magazine for many years; it has been my “go to” magazine and I have actively promoted it in conversations with other friends who enjoy cooking. I have loved the layout, the great pictures and found the old format made it very “accessible”. I just received the latest issue and have a STRONG aversion to the new look…to the point that I may not continue subscribing. Just terrible in the opinion of this southern California home chef, and I am extremely disappointed.

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