NEW YORK — Life, the magazine that brought some of the century’s most famous images to coffee tables across America, will fold as a monthly. Following publication of the May issue, Life will appear in special issues only a few times a year.
Though Life’s circulation of 1.5 million has been flat in recent years, Time Inc. spokesman Peter Costiglio attributed the decision to a lack of ad support. “There is just not a large enough national base of ads to sustain a general-interest monthly magazine,” he told Daily Variety.
But in a magazine culture crowded with startups, many seeking to capture an elusive youth market, it’s unsurprising that Time Inc. would shift its assets away from an old chestnut like Life, whose readers’ median age is roughly 41 and median household income is $47,078.
“We have a lot of other activity here in terms of allocation of resources,” Costiglio said. A lifestyles monthly called Real Simple will launch as a monthly in April; the glossy eCompany Now will debut in May; and Sports Illustrated for Women, which previously appeared only in special issues, just began a bimonthly cycle.
Time Inc. will retain the Life brand, publishing books and launching a Web business under the name. Life special issues will be driven by large-scale events and personalities, including the deaths of celebrities, Costiglio said.
Isolde Motley, managing editor since 1998, hasn’t announced her plans for the future and was not available for comment. Costiglio noted that most of the staff is expected to be absorbed by other Time Inc. publications. But that news apparently hadn’t reached the Time Inc. Web site. At press time, you could still order a year’s subscription of Life by e-mail for $19.96.