NEW YORK (AP) — The parent company of Reader's Digest is in talks to sell Rachael Ray's cooking magazine to Meredith Corp., publisher of Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, Parents and Fitness.
Assuming the deal is concluded in a timely fashion, the January issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray could be the magazine's first under Meredith. Meredith said readers would not see an interruption in their subscriptions.
Gary Davis, spokesman for Reader's Digest Association, confirmed Wednesday that the company was in talks to sell the magazine to Meredith though the deal was not complete.
Ray, in an email, called the prospect of having her magazine published by Meredith "a very happy transition."
"We couldn't be more excited to be partnering with Meredith," said the celebrity chef and cooking show host. "We are confident, with their focus on growth, Every Day with Rachael Ray will continue to evolve, expand and provide its loyal readers and subscribers with the award-winning content they love in print, digital, and lots of future opportunities."
The magazine is being sold by Reader's Digest Association as part of a larger realignment by that company.
Reader's Digest magazine, a fixture in many American homes for decades, has struggled to reinvent itself in the digital age. It hasn't seen the same precipitous declines in advertising that other magazines and newspapers have suffered, but its circulation has fallen. Still, it remains one of the world's most-read magazines, with an average circulation of 5.7 million in the first six months of this year, though that's a decline of 8 percent from a year earlier.
Reader's Digest Association sought bankruptcy protection in 2009 and emerged early last year after shedding some debt.
Every Day with Rachael Ray had a circulation of 1.7 million in the first half of 2011, an increase of 2 percent from the same period the year before.
Meredith National Media Group president Tom Harty said the acquisition of Every Day with Rachael Ray would extend the company's reach "in providing women with best-in-class food content."
The current editor-in-chief of Ray's magazine, Liz Vaccariello, will remain at Reader's Digest in a newly created position as chief content officer and editor-in-chief for the Reader's Digest community, the company said in a statement. Vaccariello's new position is designed to ensure "a unified creative voice for the Reader's Digest brand," the company said.
Reader's Digest Association also announced that Peggy Northrop would no longer be its global editor-in-chief but would remain at the company in an advisory role as international editor-at-large with a focus on the international magazine business.