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EXCLUSIVE: Cooking Light adds to Southern Progress layoffs

The bloodshed continues at Southern Progress Corporation.

cooking-light-nov-2009-coverThe fall layoffs continued into week 2 at the Birmingham-based publisher: Media of Birmingham has learned from company sources that five Cooking Light editorial staffers were laid off Tuesday.

Update Nov. 12: We’re revising the total to six laid off Thursday. Worth noting: Editor Mary Kay Culpepper left in September; executive editor Billy Sims is leaving voluntarily; and managing editor Maelynn Cheung was laid off in this round. Which means all three top positions at the mag have been vacated in the last 2 months.

The Time Inc. outfit laid off 48 employees Thursday, including 13 in Southern Living’s editorial department, eight in SPConnect (formerly Custom Publishing) and three in human resources.

The news comes as Time Inc. reports a third-quarter ad revenue drop of $129 million, or 22 percent, compared to the same quarter in 2008. And yet, despite that gloomy news, Cooking Light had a 27 percent increase in December ad pages, while Southern Living had a 34 percent increase. Both figures for the Southern Progress titles are self reported to the Publishers Information Bureau.

With additional reports coming in, the count for this round stands at 54 people laid off.

Update Nov. 12: The Birmingham Business Journal reports two possible but opposing outcomes. First, Time Inc. spokeswoman Debra Richman said the company will hire back “a number of positions” but did not elaborate on how many or which jobs. Second, the story concludes with, “Southern Progress sources said they expect layoffs to continue through December.”

If you’ve been laid off from SPC, or know someone who has, please let us know via our contact form. We’ll keep your personal information confidential.

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