The death of Southern Progress?


Birmingham publisher drops company Web site

Once among Birmingham’s largest publishing companies, Southern Progress Corporation has shrunk in population by more than half in less than 2 years. Its personnel have consolidated in two of three buildings on its Lakeshore Drive campus. It has closed down two magazines and sold off one operation. Many functions — human resources, marketing, accounting, building operations — have been consolidated or moved to Time Inc.’s New York headquarters.

And now, it has shuttered its online presence, southernprogress.com. The site now redirects to the Time Inc. corporate site. [view of site cached in Google]

southernprogress.com site1

Southernprogress.com: 2008 version (from archive.org)

southernprogress.com site2

Southernprogress.com: 2010 incomplete version
(from Google cache)

For some time, Southern Progress has been fading into oblivion, as sweeping changes throughout the publisher have roiled the Birmingham-based operation. In essence, the corporation that was formed 30 years ago and sold to Time Inc. 25 years ago barely exists, even as its employees still work under the existing titles Southern Living, Cooking Light, Health, Coastal Living, Oxmoor House, MyRecipes.com, MyHomeIdeas.com and Sunset.

Is the city losing one of its publishing companies to consolidation, economics and neglect?

Update March 24: This very report has spawned this odd headline … “Southern Progress not dead, Time Inc. says.”

Photo: Nelson Glass

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6 responses to “The death of Southern Progress?

  1. We’re mostly losing it to neglect. How is Hoffman launching (mostly) new magazines when SPC is in such a bad state?

    Though I don’t think the taking down of the site means very much.

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  3. As a former SPC’er who also spent time working at Hoffman, I know how H.Media does it. Hoffman knows who their readers are and they believe in their staff to get the job done. Seems to be the attitude at Time inc that only people from New York know anything about publishing. They are wasting enormous amounts of money on very very bad advice from consultants.

  4. That is definitely what it feels like…especially three years on.

    I haven’t spent time at Hoffman but I know SPC and Time.

    Too bad. Maybe the upcoming split could…provoke…something.

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