Bringing down the house of Reiman…one “ripple” at a time

August 20, 2007


In the age of mergers and acquisitions, promises are rarely kept and previous owners/founders usually live to see the day that their babies lose their DNA and the original parents end up disowning the products emotionally after they have disowned them financially.

Reader’s Digest Association is a good example. RDA bought Reiman Publications (Country, Taste of Home, etc.) in 2002. (RDA paid $760 million for Reiman Publications; click here to order the book that tells the whole story of the sale, the history of Reiman’s “no ad” approach and more.)

The changes in the company started from that point on, with redesigns and repositioning of several of the titles. That was attempted to force growth, but it didn’t work. Then Ripplewood Holdings bought RDA, taking over in early 2007, and began accelerating the changes even more.

Now, according to sources knowledgeable with what Ripplewood is doing, the process of de-branding of Reiman Publications has started…and started big time.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on June 19 that Ripplewood renamed Reiman Publications. It’s now RDA Milwaukee. “Reiman as an entity is going to go away,” company President Barbara Newton told the paper shortly before she lost her job.
According to my sources the RDA release reflected the fact that “Reiman is not a known brand. The brand is in the magazine names.”

So how is Ripplewood changing the Reiman brand? Well let me count the ways:

1. No leadership in Greendale, home of Reiman Publications:
Ripplewood terminated Barb Newton, Reiman Publications president, after deciding they don’t need a President in Greendale anymore, that they can run the whole thing from New York! So they now have nearly 500 people nearly a thousand miles away without a direct “leader”. However, RDA spokesman William Alder told the Journal Sentinel that this change represents “a re-upping of the commitment to work with the folks there (in Greendale).”

2. The end of the “No Advertising” model:
Reiman Publications created one of the most successful magazine publishing models ever–one that was strictly dependent on circulation revenues. When RDA bought it, the company was extremely profitable. It published 13 national titles reaching more than 16 million paid subscribers…without a single advertisement.

Now, Ripplewood has decided to remove that unique aspect; it has started carrying advertising. The first ad brought in $60,000 for the Select Comfort Bed ad that’s included in the current issue of five of the company’s magazines–Country, Birds & Blooms, Backyard Living, Reminisce and Farm & Ranch Living.

One of my sources feels that $60,000 ad will cost the company more than $6 million in renewals. Why? Because the no-ad approach was—more than anything else–the one thing that made the magazines “different”.

It was by far the magazines’ most talked-about element over the years. Now, with the removal of that unique element, this source believes renewals will drop off so fast that what started out as a Ripple will end up being a title wave!

Amazingly, the Ripplewood folks don’t feel the “no advertising” approach is essential to their success. In fact, their reaction to this unique approach of publishing is “utter disbelief that Reiman Publications has had this huge circulation and hasn’t bothered to sell advertising up till now,” a reliable source told me.

3. Readers are no longer the number one customer:
According to my sources, the Reiman Publications’ empire that was built on reader input is now heading toward a complete U-turn. In fact, an internal e-mail from one of the RDA managers last winter stated, “I don’t care what the reader wants…this is what I want!”

That’s not far from reflecting the current feeling at Ripplewood. One of its managers recently stated, “We need to turn over this circulation base anyway; we need to attract a much younger, more vibrant audience.”

In short, “the magazines just haven’t been the same for more than a year. And now with the inclusion of ads, they’re really not going to be the same,” my source said.

Am I surprised? NO. Why not? Well, the top 14 people who were in charge of Reiman Publications are no longer employed at Reader’s Digest Association. So, since most of these top people have been replaced by RDA’s chosen people…didn’t RDA pay all that money to buy themselves?

A final thought, a wise person summed for me this whole process of mergers and acquisitions as follows:

“The bottom line is this: Small companies do things that benefit the customer. Corporations do things that benefit the stockholders. Small companies think long-term. Corporations think short-term, as in quarterly reports. Small companies really get to KNOW their customers to sustain growth. Corporations aren’t much interested in getting to know the customers and concentrate on maintaining growth through what they learned works for other audiences.”


  1. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    What Reader’s Digest bought in 2002 was a loyal and responsive customer base that resulted in operating margins well above 20%…about three times higher than RD had. Those financial results were made possible by a culture focused on encouraging creative people to develop unique products…strengthened by a customer service mentality that, while sounding corny in today’s jaded environment, was as simple as the Golden Rule.

    What has happened to Reiman Publications in the past five years was predicted by those who knew it took to make the business model work. Reader’s Digest insisted on changing the most basic aspects of that model. When Reiman management explained what would happen to the company’s performance, they were brushed off as being behind the times. They either got frustrated and resigned or were pushed out. And as results declined as predicted, creative and self-serving excuses were invented.

    Here’s another prediction…Because Reiman readers are older and have lower household income than most advertisers demand, the latest move of putting paid advertising in the magazines will accelerate the circulation slide, which already has resulted in the loss of millions of customers. The effects of that accelerated decline likely won’t be obvious for 18-24 months. By then, nobody should be surprised if key segments of Reiman have been sold off.

    It is truly sad to see what happened to a unique, reputable and very profitable company.

    • Thanks for the information and so that explains alot. I just bought a subscription to Country and Birds and Blooms. Wow what a disappointment from what I remember of the magazines before! The size of the magazines are smaller and the paper is cheap. What a shame for these magazines that used to be great. I won’t be renewing my subscriptions in the future and I think I might even try to cancel them.

  2. Very sad. Reiman was an example of a company that served the Heartland of America on its own terms. So little is being done for this audience, because large media companies on the coasts are oblivious to this group’s unique interests and strengths.

    What you’re reporting about the second wave of new management of Reiman’s publications shows how swiftly a corporate culture can lose touch with what made an independent business successful.

    I feel most sorry for the people who loved Reiman publications and are starved for media that doesn’t talk down to them, doesn’t tell them what they should like, and listens to the gentler American audience that has so much to offer.

    There are huge opportunities for those who want to serve this very large, disdained audience with respect and good-will.

  3. I just read the above comments, and had to add my two cents.

    I live in Milwaukee, and read (but, regretfully, didn’t keep) the article in the JournalSentinal quoting a brave Barbara Newton how things wouldn’t be all that different. Then, the article made a mention about how nice she was, considering HER job would soon be history.

    I, too, noticed the changes in the magazines–also, no mention of the six-horse hitch that used to tour the country. Obviously, too much of an expense. And yes, in a recent issue of Reminisce, ads appeared. Along with a big article about how although Ray Reiman never wanted advertising, it was inevitable, things have changed, prices of everything have gone up, blah, blah, blah.

    Just last night I was at a friend’s house. She had gone to the big Reiman vistor centre in Greendale this summer, and they were giving away the Ray Reiman book “I Could Write a Book”. In it, he lays out what he wanted a buyer to commit to before he would sell his company. One of the things was a 3-year freeze on leaving Greendale, laying off employees, etc. You could just see how much he appreciated his employees, which in this day and age of corporate takeovers is, sad to say, a rarity. Well, I told my friend (without knowing the actual sale date to RD), “Yeah, and at three years and one day…Nellie bar the door and file for unemployment.” Obviously, the reason they were giving the book away was that so much of it was, sadly, no longer true.

    However, she had the latest issue of Reminisce and although I could find no outside advertising in it, there were inserts in the plastic mailing bag that the magazine came in. In the Reiman book, he also mentions about his policy of no advertising. I only skimmed through the book–it was a bit depressing.

    Wonder just how long that Visitor Centre will last. Even though Reiman owns the majority of buildings on Broad Street in Greendale, that doesn’t mean that the Ripplewood/RD people can’t close that Vistior Centre or pull some stunt to make it a shadow of itself. In the JournalSentinel article it spoke of the call centre being relocated to New York, and of the other departments that were closed down piecemeal in the last few years. I also wonder how long the main Reiman Publications “home” office on 60th & Grange will be there before Ripplewood/RD gets an offer they can’t refuse to sell out and just to keep up appearances will rent some 300 s.f. office in a faceless, nameless buiding. Anyone who has been here knows how nice the Reiman Publications property is. Flowers all summer, wonderful lighted decorations in the winter.

    Again, another corporate takeover, another sad day for loyal employees and customers.

  4. good luck getting a refund on your subscription. When I realized a change had been made (unfortunately one week after renewing Light & Tasty) i immediately went to the website and couldn’t get in. They had eliminated my password and customer service is now in the Philippines! The guy didn’t even know how much my refund would be. This is so sad….even more so that we weren’t warned of the company sale. Especially to Reader’s Digest. I NEVER would have renewed and would have canceled my Birds & Blooms on the spot……

    I was planning an outing to the complex in Greendale this summer, guess I’ll have to change my plans…..how could I have not know about this takeover!

  5. Bottom line – Reiman sold out! Sad fact, and anyone who has been around knows that when a big corporate company takes over a small company – that’s it!! Look at American Girl when they sold out to Mattel. They had a great, wholesome product that really got girls interested in history – now they’re phasing out all of the new historical dolls and replacing them. Why do they sell out – that’s what I want to know? Why destroy something that you spent your life building? Something as special as Reminisce and Country and all of the others – does it just boil down to greed?

    • Everyone has the right to retire.

      It is heartbreaking, though, to see such a great business model and it’s creator disappear from the scene.

      Look at what happened to Land’s End after it was sold to Sears. A once great company’s products are now shoddy, faddish, third-world products of sweat shops and child labor abuse. That company exists in name only and doesn’t reflect it’s former quality and service.

      It would have been great for Mr Reiman to continue ownership and daily involvement in Reiman Publications. But we live in a world where his type of quality and leadership no longer exist.

  6. I, for one, am not renewing my subscription for Birds & Blooms. I have noticed in the past couple years, it has gone downhill in the quality and now I have to deal with 3-page drug company ads to boot. In a magazine that is supposed to be devoted to birding and gardening. I can pick up any old magazine and have to deal with at least 4-5 drug company ads. It’s the whole reason I loved Birds & Blooms – I didn’t have to deal with that. They aren’t getting anymore of my money, that’s for sure.

    • Annie, you are very lucky- only 3 pages of ads in Birds & Blooms? In a recent issue of Reminisce, I counted 16 FULL pages of ads out of 68 pages… you can do the math. I feel I really don’t get the quality I’ve been paying for since 1992. I have kept every Reminisce and Reminisce Extra magazine since then — in chronological order in notebooks. I wrote to the editors, and got the same old story…… “if it wasn’t for ads, there would be no more magazines”. So how did Mr. Reiman do it, even the cross-country tour? He did it because HE CARES! And he knew what would sell. When I got the complimentary copy, I ordered it the next day. It sold itself. I’d actually be willing to pay a little more for the quality it used to be.
      I did know RD was going to buy it, and first thought – “there goes the neighborhood…” and I was correct. RD magazine used to be good too, but I cancelled that subscription back in the 70s. It’s practically all ads now, and less stories. I still take the two Reminisce mags, and Country, but not sure for how much longer. Even though they’ve been trashed. I have been going through mine from 1992 -they’re just high quality. I keep renewing my gift subs, but nowadays, I am actually ashamed of what it’s become. I told everyone how great it was, and now look.
      I suspected there would be a lot of cancellations, and from what I just read, it happened. Anybody out there from RD reading these? I hope so, but probably won’t do any good. The only good thing about writing to the editors is that a “human” answered my email.

  7. There have been many changes to Country Magazine and none of them are good. All the ads are a downer–they just spoil the look of the magazine and there’s no way to get around it. Also they have started using cheaper paper. The new paper is not much better than newsprint–it’s no longer glossy and the photos aren’t as sharp. The pictures in the magazine are now merely pretty (no longer magnificent). They even changed the font on the front cover. The original style with the capital “R” looked better. The new style looks more modern, but I prefer the old homey look. I also dislike the big white tabs that label the subjects inside the magazine. The recipe section is no longer convenient; it used to be printed so that you could cut them out and have individual self-contained recipes, each with a photo (like traditional recipe cards).

    I used to love Farm & Ranch Living, but I dropped that one several years ago after I starting noticing changes. I have subscribed to Country, Reminisce, and Birds and Blooms (and have given numerous gift subscriptions) for many years, almost from their beginnings. But I’m not sure how much longer that will continue….

    • There have been improvements to Country Magazine since my comments written 3 years ago, so I would like to give an update.

      I’m happy to say that the paper and image quality have improved significantly and therefore the photos are back to being sharp and stunningly beautiful. The ugly white tabs are gone, yay. There is no longer a regular recipe section, which is fine with me since I never actually try the recipes that I see in magazines, anyway. Robin Hoffman is an excellent editor and I always enjoy reading his warm and insightful comments in the “From the Editor” section. In every issue I get a kick out of reading the funny story on the last page. The illustrations by Kevin Rechin are hilarious!

      Unfortunately there are more ads than ever, so I just do my best to ignore them. Country Magazine is always family-friendly and is full of gorgeous pictures and warm-hearted stories. As long as that continues, I will be a loyal subscriber. Thank you!

      • Improvements? Where? I just ordered new subscription and these magazines are terrible compared to what I remember years ago. I am going to try to cancel the rest of the subscription and definately will not renew.

  8. I was one of those who worked for the “good” Reiman publications, (and it’s Roy, not Ray). Roy hired me as creative director in 1986, but I quickly became his right-hand woman as we started Country magazine. Those were the days when what we wanted was a magazine which our readers could enjoy — and also write. It’s very sad to see what has happened since. But, good news, Roy has started “Our Iowa” and “Our Wisconsin” since then, and I believe this is the start of something which will be as big as Reiman Publications once was. The people and products of the golden age are not defeated, just recouping!

    • Wow! How encouraging. I was lead to believe from other articles that Mr. Reiman just chose to retire. I’m happy to hear he is keeping his oar in the publication game! My congratulations on your previous work product.

      Believe it or not – I got involved in reading about the demise of Reiman Publications because I was looking for an author in one of his publications. I’ve searched for the last 7 years off and on trying to locate her to obtain permission to use a crochet pattern she designed – without luck.

      That process led me today to reading about the many permutations Mr Reiman’s former publication company has undergone through the corporate buyouts and investments.

      I hope after I hit ‘post’ that I don’t find out “Our Wisconsin” is not being published anymore.

  9. I remember many years ago I went into my dentist’s office and happened to pick up an issue of Country and it was love at first sight. I immediately subscribed to all of their magazines. It was like heaven when each issue arrived—slick pages, beautiful photographs, great recipes–and best of all no advertisements! I loved the “for those who live in or long for the country.” My favorite magazine of all I guess is Country Woman but I’m so sad that it’s gone down so much since the RD takeover. And I bought every Country Woman Christmas books and treasure them. I still subscribe to County Woman, Country, and Country Extra but they are no longer as enjoyable to me. Thank you Reiman Publications for showing us what true quality magazines were. We miss you.

  10. Just received my “all new look” Nov. ’14 issue of Reminisce extra magazine today. In one day, I have seen what used to be my favorite magazine become something that is mostly tedious to peruse.

    I found one in a doctor’s office years ago and was immediately eager to subscribe, and even bought gift subscriptions. If I had found this issue as my first example, I suspect I would have chosen another magazine to try to distract me while I waited.

    What reader was asking to lose the glossy well laid out color pages? Who wrote in and said ‘I hope you can make the photos smaller, more grainy looking, and cheapen the paper so it looks more like newspaper quality, while you include ads that provide plenty of reminders of bodily suffering throughout every single issue’?

    So now what? Do we remember the good old days of reminisce magazines that we used to enjoy and share with our friends?

  11. I’ll miss Reminisce Magazine. It reminded me of my childhood and the stories of my parents’ childhoods. It was also informative about past issues in our country and products we used to use. The new magazine by Readers Digest is a slap in the face. I will not renew my subscription. Sad…..I always looked forward to the new issue.
    I’ll be anxious to see the new magazine “Our Wisconsin”.

  12. I read the newly formatted Reminisce Magazine last night and did not finish it. I threw it in the wastepaper container. The magazine has changed from a reminder of yesteryear, complete with multiple pictures and snippets of people’s memories, to just another biographical, long essay of a few person’s accounts of life events. It has become a magazine of words, of a particular person and topic, rather than a magazine of multiple photos of memories of many persons where one could examine the pictures (sometimes with a magnifying glass to more clearly see detail) in order to bring back one’s own personal memories. The new format forces one to focus, in great detail, on the glorified memories of a few individuals instead a myriad of personal memories gleaned from snippets of detail from many individuals. In the old magazine, one photo could call up memories of mode of dress, first automobiles owned or rode in, toys one owned, the home they lived in, and on and on (from one photo yet). The short remarks and captions of the photos resonated with one’s self.

    I will not renew my subscription because the newly formatted Reminisce Magazine is not what I originally subscribed to. It is really sad on my part, and the parts of many, many individual like me, and I will miss it very, very much as it was my touch into the past.

  13. I agree, I just renewed my subscription, and if I had seen the magazine first I never would have. A great magazine has been ruined.

  14. I too was so disappointed with the “new” Reminisce I recently received. I am one of the younger audience they were hoping to attract and the magazine now holds no interest. I too have enjoyed Reader’s Digest through the years, but I don’t want the two to look alike. The pictures were so small and sparse I had to really search for details. The articles were hard to read in the format they were presented and there just didn’t seem to be any pizzazz. It was boring. I wish I hadn’t renewed – or sent a gift subscription. So unfortunate.

  15. I, too am not thrilled with the new format of Reminisce Magazine. It no longer has as interesting of stories as it did. One person spoke of the hitch of Belgian horses that they took across the United States. I heard from a reliable source that the couple who drove the hitch and were eventually married, had gotten divorced and as a result the horses were split between the couple. If you remember, Reminisce Magazine gave the couple the team or hitch, after completion of the trip across the U.S.

  16. Same with Country Woman. Two issues ago there was a significant change in the magazine’s format. I was so disappointed I emailed the magazine and said it was almost like losing a friend as it had changed so drastically. I too feel like there is no reason to renew. Thank goodness I’m a hoarder of Country Woman. I will re-read my old issues from multiple years-decades. I guess I fall into that category of the older ones they are not concerned with. Sad. When you have a magazine that stands the test of time and passes from one generation to the next, someone was doing something right, time after time.

  17. Most of the ads seem to be single copy and not attached to the magazines. As a contributing writer since 2005 the more than tripling of my fee is nice. I still enjoy the other articles. Their base is active and retired farm folks and if they replace them with a younger customer it will be the kiss of death to the magazines.

  18. as a FORMER subscriber to several Reiman magazines for over 20 years it was when the advertising started creeping in that eventually led to not renewing two of the magazines. Hung onto Country Woman for a few years but when all those ads became 25-30% of page count that was the final straw and the last renewal notice sadly was returned with an earful of my disappointment in their product.

  19. It’s pathetic. Since the buy-out, Reader’s Digest has been led by a cabal of unimaginative “Me-too”s whose one and only idea (if you could call it that) in the 21st century has been: “Let’s homogenize the Reiman magazines and make them like every other magazine as much as possible.” They took a highly imaginative and profitable company and drove it so far into the ground that they couldn’t afford to mow the lawn at Reiman’s erstwhile Greendale, Wis. headquarters. This company of bankrupt finances (3 bankruptcy filings and counting) and bankrupt minds has the hubris to critique and reject the practices of a company that could make money year after year and mow their lawn on a regular basis (to say nothing of the thousands of flowers that ornamented the grounds and consequently the community).

    And the nosedive in circulation that these incompetents have caused has led to horrific cost cuts throughout the business. I remember calling the Farm&Ranch Living customer service a few years back, and I couldn’t hardly understand them: I was talking to someone in China supposedly named “Mary Ann”! I hung up. It was hopless. The Taste of Home recipe web site is in a constant state of chaos and disrepair (probably being done in India).

    Before Reader’s Digest, Reiman could afford to make great magazines on nice paper with no ads, supported by great customer service people and reliable web sites.

    And the Reader’s Digest hype about getting younger consumers? Obviously that’s not working either. And anyway, how many 20-somethings read paper magazines–or want the kind of lifestyle magazines Reiman made?

    And who’s the largest demographic in America? Babyboomers–the demographic most likely to read a print magazine. By all means, think about the future. But there’s not much hope for the future if you destroy the loyal base of older readers who pay for the bills of today and the investments of tomorrow.

    With such bird-brained leadership at Reader’s, I thought maybe they could at least turn out a decent issue of “Birds and Blooms.” But alas no, as one other person posted, it’s got so many ads, it’s become a catalog of unrelated merchandise.

    The Remain magazines were destroyed by the collective egos of incompetent leaders whose utter lack of achievement should have long ago deflated those egos.

    There’s one piece of good news: Roy Reiman in his retirement has started two magazines (“Our Iowa” and “Our Wisconsin”) that are just like the old magazines we all used to love. Thick paper. Beautiful glossy pictures. And they at least make money.

  20. Folks, Readers Digest now owns and runs these magazines. Hit them where it hurts. STOP SUBSCRIBING to Readers Digest and all of it’s publications. I did & you can too!

  21. Amen to everything Mike iterated above.corporate takeovers should not include public menacing, stalking and asundry other criminal activities. I just read about this a few minutes ago and agree with all these chronicle posts and more.

  22. I agree also! I used to subscribe to Country, Taste of Home, Country Woman, the old Quick Cooking, and Reminisce. Loved them all. Taste of Home is now indistinguishable from any other big-city food magazine. I no longer subscribe to any of the publications.

  23. […] Source: Bringing down the house of Reiman…one “ripple” at a time […]

  24. Unbeknownst to me of the takeover, I didn’t renew as format with ads seemed so shabby for toh; I was still working full time x 2 so as pubs piled up previous years, I was down to toh only. Glad I bowed out, there’s always mega recipe sites for anything you can think of. Guess we won’t be touring any farm workdays and follow kitchen remodels anymore; enjoy that military humor and fiction or nonfiction melodrama bathroom reader.

  25. I can’t find any info on the Reiman Visitor Center. Has it, along with the restaurant, also been discontinued?

  26. Yes, alas, Patsy, the Reiman Visitor Center closed last year. It had been getting smaller and smaller over the last few years. The south side of the visitor center was blocked off and closed. Then the downstairs was closed, and what remained was probably about 1/4 of what it used to be. One got the feeling that profitability was declining and that shrinking the facility was an attempt to scale it back to the declining demand. Very sad. So many wonderful memories there. Well, I guess we all still get to keep our memories

    • John Cronce:

      I, too, was so sad to see the decline of the Visitors’ Centre. I noticed that the nifty little store in the lower level that I loved browsing through with the kitchen gadgets, clothing, home decor, etc. turned into a “dump” for all the returns (wrong size/colour, damaged). The Test Kitchen, which was always doing something, was slowly downsized and only open during an event in Greendale (Village Days, Dicken’s Christmas, green market week-ends, I Left My Heart On Broad Street). Speaking of I Left My Heart on Broad Street, one year they just quit doing the Renewal of Vows that they did during that week-end for years.

      Finally, to see the statue of Norman Rockwell doing the “self-portrait” moved to the parking lot was just the final nail in the coffin for the Visitors’ Centre!


  27. I have been a subscriber of Reiman publications for years & enjoyed the contents & no ads. Was going to subscribe again until I saw all the complaints & how you are changing everything. I had ordered a gift of Farm & Ranch Living for my dad & he only received a couple & then nothing. I called but he never received any more. Too bad you don’t listen to past subscribers & Reiman employees. I will miss the old style & not receiving the quality Reiman publications!

  28. I too recently subscribed to the Country magazine, delighted to see that it was still being published. I have kept scores of the old magazines and keep them in my car for enjoyment whenever I have to sit and wait for someone. What an astounding disappointment. As others have mentioned, the quality is horrible, the content is disappointing and the most memorable feature of the original magazine, the photos, are now horrible examples of over-saturated photo-shopped pictures. They could be beautiful scenes but the publishing techniques have destroyed whatever beauty was there. I quickly requested a refund (via their cancellation page since no one from customer service ever responded to my multiple emails.) and at least received a partial refund.

  29. My husband and I were charter subscribers to Farm & Ranch Living in 1978. When the magazine celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2003, they offered a lifetime subscription to charter subscribers if we contacted them. We did so, even sending a photo of us with the stacks and binders of magazines we had saved (until two years ago we still had every copy published…due to lack of storage space, we decided to give them away). That “lifetime” subscription was honored for 14 years, when without any notification the magazine suddenly stopped coming. I knew the ownership had changed and that it was no longer the beautiful ad-free magazine that it once was, but we still enjoyed reading it. I emailed the customer care division and was told that they “do not do life time memberships for the Farm & Ranch Living magazine.” I am not going to subscribe. It feels like losing an old friend, but that friend was no longer friendly. By the way, my husband still actively farms.

    • I wanted to update my reply. I responded to the email I got from F&RL and got an apologetic response, telling me that they would honor our lifetime subscription. This week we received four back issues in the mail. They have restored my faith in mankind.

  30. I subscribed to country woman magazine for years. Life got busy and didn’t renew for awhile. I just resubscibed and received the first issue.
    I am so disappointed and heartbroken!! All the things I loved about this magazine are GONE!! There is NOTHING of the charm that it used to have. None of the series like A Day on the Farm and the kitchen remodel. The recipe section now sucks. I will not be renewing.

    • Me either..always loved Taste of Home, was a loyal subscriber for years. Magazine is more full of ads than recipes! When I get a renewal notice, it goes right in the garbage, and that’s right where they will all be going from now on!

  31. I used to subscribe to several of the magazines & just loved them.
    Had to stop for a few years as I just had sooooo many. In the last couple years I would receive a complimentary issue in order for me to re subscribe. After looking through the issues I found advertising & different format. Totally different from what had been. It was then I noticed it was no longer Reiman Publications. What a HUGE HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT!!! Needles to say I will not be renewing my subscription. I still have Birds & Blooms issues from several years ago & Country Woman & a few others. I’m downsizing my house & need to part with them & sooo reluctant to do so. Plus I have several Taste of Home Annual Cookbooks & the Country Home ones. I gave away all my Taste of Home magazines several years ago. Now I need to find a good home for those cookbooks!
    So sad to see a once great magazine go downhill due to greed. Maybe they will wise up when all their subscribers fail to renew their subscriptions.

  32. My mother just gave me a copy of Country magazine. She had gotten a “come back to us” deal on a subscription, so she decided to try it. Wow! I was so surprised when I opened the magazine. The first thing that I noticed was the quality of the paper. In the past the paper made the magazines something that you could keep. They even sold binders for the beautiful magazines. The new magazine has the same paper that tabloids are made from, thin and cheap. Next I was hit with the ads. Lots of ads. Again, reminiscent of a tabloid. Ads for products meant to take our money and not give what was offered. And the beautiful “centerfold” is now gone. Oh yes, there is still a centerfold picture, but not the beautiful one that was suitable for hanging. I believe that Reiman had a lot of requests for copies of centerfolds, and I think in response they did something like making the centerfold into a fold out so that the staples would not mar the beautiful pictures. Well, I guess this wonderful magazine that used to have high standards, and real country people that wrote stories and columns (remember the wonderful Amish lady that used to write about her life and give recipes? And who later published a book with those hints, tips, stories and recipes?), is no more. It is no longer special, but has become just another of the many magazines on a shelf. Goodbye Country magazine.

  33. Typical corporate America. Take something that works and ruin it. Then blame it on everything and everyone but themselves. They could of easily took Roy’s model and expanded on it in 100 different directions to increase revenue. My wife and myself rarely buy any magazines anymore because more pages are used for ads than the actual relevant content of the magazine. With public television and the internet we see no use for magazine advertising. Include telemarketing being completely legal to harass people now in that mix who’s going to order things out of a magazine?! If we want that we can just get online with Google or Facebook, etc. Until our eyes dry out.

  34. Thanks for the information and so that explains alot. I just bought a subscription to Country and Birds and Blooms. Wow what a disappointment from what I remember of the magazines before! The size of the magazines are smaller and the paper is cheap. What a shame for these magazines that used to be great. I won’t be renewing my subscriptions in the future and I think I might even try to cancel them.

  35. I have been looking thru the Aug/Sept ’19 issue of Country magazine. I don’t even remember where I got it. I haven’t read one in years. I started to wonder if it was the same Country I used to subscribe to. I looked for Reiman Publications but found no reference to them. Finally I Googled “Does Reiman Publications still own Country Magazine?” and got the whole sad story. All the ads, the smaller size, the lighter weight paper, what a shame. I’d never subscribe to it today. Like someone mentioned, I got the free magazine in the mail and liked it so much I subscribed and for years gave subscriptions to my brother and two friends for Christmas. I stopped when I could no longer afford it. Seeing what has become of that once terrific magazine, I realize I probably would have canceled my subscription anyway. Very sad. It used to be the nicest magazine I had ever seen.

  36. I didn’t renew my subscription to Reminisce magazine two years ago after being a subscriber for the previous ten. Although I didn’t live in the time most of the old Reminisce magazines used to feature, I am nostalgic for a simpler, saner, more family-focused time of the ’20s-’50s, a time when people understood their world and place in it, unlike today. The new publisher, on the other hand, is apparently nostalgic for the tumultuous 60’s and 70’s. They forever trying to guide readers to “tell us about your Vietnam war protest experiences”, “women’s rights movement experiences” and other such hideousness. Wake up dummies. I don’t need a nostalgia magazine featuring TURMOIL when I can watch the news and see our beloved country burn on TV every night.

    • I had a free subscription to Reminisce and as soon as it expired, that was that! Would you believe that before I even got my first issue I got a “don’t forget to renew” letter?

      As the others have said, the “new” magazines aren’t up to previous standards! The paper is thin and rough, the articles are nothing like the previous ones, lots of “stock” pictures as opposed to snapshots taken by the contributor. And let’s not forget the ads–every other page is an ad!

      The saga of the Reiman Publications also hurt their “hometown” of Greendale, Wisconsin (a Green Belt town built by the WPA).
      The headquarters was sold to Goodwill, and the beautiful grounds were turned into a big parking lot. Huge trees were cut down, the lovely landscaping with beautiful flowers were taken out to expand the parking lot.

      On Broad Street (Greendale’s “Main Street”), there was a Reiman Visitor Centre. On the main floor there was the Test Kitchen, a little theatre where they looped a video of the horses and hitch, and another all-purpose room. On the lower level, they had a little store, which was just fun to browse in. They had kitchen gadgets, past copies of the hard-cover cook books, Reiman merchandise such as clothing, home decor, dishes, record players/radios, etc. There were some returned items for sale, but it was a small area. As time went on, things began to change. One change was that they no longer did the Renewal of Vows that they did every year during Valentine’s week-end that Greendale called “I Left My Heart On Broad Street”. The lower level store started to carry more and more “returns” (wrong size/colour, damaged, etc.), and shrunk so much it went to the main level. The Test Kitchen was used less and less. Towards the end, the Test Kitchen was only operating during events such as the Valentine’s Day week-end, Fall/Harvest week-ends, Greendale Village Days in the summer, Dickens’ Christmas week-ends, and the week-ends that the green market was open. The final blow was moving the statue of Norman Rockwell doing the “self-portrait” to the parking lot! Reiman Publishing had holdings on Broad Street and I have no idea if they even own any of it anymore.


  37. Which editor ruined TASTE OF HOME MAGAZINE! I don’t think I have been t his disappointed in my life time. Whom ever they are they should be fired….today!

  38. Which editor ruined TASTE OF HOME MAGAZINE! I don’t think I have been t his disappointed in my life time. Whom ever they are they should be fired….today!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: