March 26, 2007
To: Time Inc. Staff
From: Ann Moore
I regret to inform you that we will no longer be producing LIFE magazine, effective with the April 20th 2007 issue. We remain committed to the LIFE brand, and will be concentrating on expanding the title’s other businesses, including a new photographic portal making millions of LIFE photos available to the public.
LIFE Magazine was a truly innovative publishing venture. It was developed, edited and published by some of the best talent in the business and we can remain proud of its many achievements. LIFE enjoyed strong consumer support. Research showed readers consistently placed it above its competitors in terms of quality edit and photography. In addition, consumers couldn’t get enough of the LIFE picture puzzles, with the Picture Puzzle book quickly becoming a New York Times Best Seller.
But despite consumer and advertiser support (LIFE was one of the top PIB launches of all time in gross revenue in its first year), we were not able to compete with the decline of both the newspaper business and the outlook for advertising growth in the newspaper supplement category. Growth requires taking risks and the potential upside once looked huge, but the timing worked against us since the market has moved dramatically since October 2004. Sometimes we have to make tough calls, and this was one.
LIFE is continuing with plans to put its entire collection of 10 million images online, 97% of which have never been seen by the public. The site will be launched later this year and will be a single destination to view the most important photography of our time, both archival and contemporary. In addition, LIFE will continue to publish books, including the second LIFE Picture Puzzle book (on newsstands April 2 and in bookstores nationwide on April 17). Two more books are in the works for 2007.
We thank the many dedicated and talented LIFE magazine employees, and we want to assure you that we are taking immediate steps to place as many LIFE magazine employees as possible within Time Inc. LIFE is one of the publishing world’s most iconic and well-known brands. We are proud that its name will continue through books and online initiatives and we remain dedicated to the brand.