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Shelburne-Based EatingWell Magazine to Cease Print Publication


EatingWell magazine print issues - MELISSA PASANEN ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Melissa Pasanen ©️ Seven Days
  • EatingWell magazine print issues

Updated on February 11, 2022.

Shelburne-based EatingWell magazine will stop print publication after its April issue and become a digital-only brand.

Jessie Price, longtime editor-in-chief of EatingWell, referred Seven Days’ request for comment to Dotdash Meredith, a division of Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp media group. IAC bought EatingWell in 2021 as part of a $2.7 billion purchase of the Meredith Corporation, which is based in Des Moines, Iowa.

Dotdash Meredith spokesperson Erica Jensen confirmed via email that EatingWell is among six former Meredith magazine brands, including Entertainment Weekly, InStyle and Parents, that will no longer print monthly magazines. Jensen added that “these brands will continue to thrive and grow in a digital format.”

The Wall Street Journal first reported the changes on Wednesday.

The elimination of the six print magazines will result in the loss of 200 jobs, primarily in Dotdash Meredith’s New York offices. Jensen did not specify how many EatingWell positions would be cut but said that layoffs would impact “less than 4 percent of our Vermont-based employees” and stated that “Dotdash Meredith intends to continue our presence in Vermont.” As of September 2018, the magazine had about 30 employees in Shelburne.

In a February 11 email, Price confirmed that she and managing editor Wendy Ruopp, who has worked for EatingWell since its inception, are both leaving the company.

EatingWell launched in the late 1980s in Charlotte, Vt. It was bought by Meredith in 2011 and moved its offices to Shelburne in 2012. In 2018, EatingWell absorbed Cooking Light magazine, making it “the largest subscription magazine in the epicurean category,” according to a Meredith press release at the time.

Barry Estabrook, a James Beard-award winning food and agriculture writer who lives in Ferrisburgh, was EatingWell’s founding editor. He went on to become a contributing editor at Gourmet magazine and remembers vividly when that magazine abruptly ceased print publication in 2009.

“They said, ‘Oh the brand will continue,’ but that didn’t happen,” Estabrook said in an interview Wednesday. “What they forgot is that the print magazine was driving the success online.” 

Estabrook acknowledged the strength of online media but noted that “there are certain things that print can do — and does well” that are lost online. 

As a freelance writer, Estabrook has continued to contribute occasional articles to EatingWell over the years. He called it “the last of the serious food magazines” and praised its editors for continuing to produce print issues that balanced practical, hands-on cooking advice and recipes with “long, serious articles that are very meaningful.” 

This, Estabrook noted, was EatingWell’s mission from its inception. “We said, ‘Why can’t women’s service [magazines] do serious journalism, too?’”

Estabrook’s most recent EatingWell  story will be in the magazine's penultimate print issue. “Who Will Farm Our Future?” is about the younger generation of American farmers who are reinventing agriculture. It is the kind of deep dive into important food system topics that Estabrook believes is at risk with the changing media landscape.

“Who is going to run a 3,500-word piece about young farmers?” he asked.