Oprah Winfrey’s well-recognised print publication O Magazine is ending with the current December issues as its last.
The magazine started in 2000 as a lifestyle magazine by the Queen of daytime TV, Oprah Winfrey. Of the back of her popular programme The Oprah Show, O Magazine was founded as a mindfulness and wellness magazine published by Hearst, one of the biggest publishers in the industry.
In August Oprah herself announced the ending of the print magazine in a video, explaining the next steps for the publication. Although the print issues are coming to an end, the website and social media will continue to run.
The latest December issue, which is out now, marks the final issue and Oprah penned a letter to thank her readers on November 19th in which she reminisced on its history, including her memories of shooting famous covers.
Why is O Magazine ending?
O Magazine is the latest in a long line of prints to go digital-only in the last few years. The print issues of the magazine are ending in order to allow more of a focus on the digital side.
When asked by PBS, Hearst declined to comment on exactly why it was dropping the print editions, explaining instead it was a “natural next step” for the brand.
In her video, Oprah asks:
“How can you exist in 2021 without a strong digital persence? I am really looking forward to finding innovative new ways to continue engaging with all of you. Because I tell you, I love everything this magazine represents.”
For years now the magazine industry has moved away from print issues in favour for the digital landscape, with more people spending time online meaning print advertising has dwindled.
Advertising sales in the magazine industry have only been further impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and research company Magna predicted a 23% drop in advertising sales for U.S national magazines this year.
The O Magazine have not specified whether advertising sales were a factor in it ending, though.
On November 16th, The Hill reported that O Magazine is set to lay off 59 staffers at the magazine, though it’s unclear exactly which staff will be impacted.
If you’re disheartened by the lack of print issues then you’re in luck as O Magazine are planning on still printing four yearly issues of the magazine, starting 2021.
Reactions to it ending
Having been around for twenty years, it comes as no surprise to hear that life-long O Magazine fans are upset by the ending of the print issues.