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Bonnier Corp. Folds 'Garden Design'

Company says closure is a result of "economic climate, compounded by the significant industry transition to digital."


Editor's Note: This story originally appears on AD sister site, minonline.com

Garden Design, the upscale bimonthly home/garden/lifestyle magazine that launched with fanfare in April 1994, shut down quietly on March 13. A statement from owner (since 2006) Bonnier Corp. blamed "the economic climate, compounded by the significant industry transition to digital, [that] limited the growth in advertising needed to make [GD] viable for our future."

GD was the brainchild of Chris Meigher, the former Time Inc. executive whose credits included the 1990 launch of then-Time Inc.-partnered Martha Stewart Living. (Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia did not form until 1997.) This first Meigher Communications brand was introduced at the New York Flower and Garden Show in Rockefeller Center, and investors were said to have included 1989-1992 Time Warner co-CEO Nick Nicholas. In 1995, Meigher and editorial director Dorothy Kalins launched the epicurean Saveur (which continues), and the future seemed bright.

But Meigher's financial problems in 2000 led to his selling both magazines to Orlando-based World Publications founder (1984) founder Terry Snow for a bargain-basement $7 million that August. When Snow sold World to Bonnier Corp. for an estimated $100 million in May 2006, the two were part of the package.

By then, the 185,000-circ GD was the weaker of the two (Saveur's rate base is 325,000), and it could be that Snow--as Bonnier president following the World sale--kept GD afloat because it was a favorite of his wife.

If there was "protection," it ended with Snow's Jan. 14, 2013, resignation. It was successor and Snow protégé Dave Freygang who made the call. The GD Web site and Facebook page will be taken down on June 1.

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