southernlivingII.jpgFishbowlNY has confirmation that layoffs one tipster calls “major” have hit Southern Progress Corporation, the Time Inc. subsidiary that publishes Southern Living, Cooking Light, Health, Southern Accents, Cottage Living, and Coastal Living, among others. As Southern Progress spokeswoman Laura Hardin told FishbowlNY today, “Of course we’re sad to be losing good people. It was an unfortunate but necessary decision based on challenging economic conditions in our industry.”

Hardin declined to specify how many employees have been affected or which titles lost staff, saying only that “several business and edit positions were affected.” Birmingham Weekly, which shares a hometown with Southern Progress’ Alabama headquarters, reported yesterday that the Time Inc. division “laid off as many as 30 employees.”

Though they corroborate what media reporter Keith Kelly‘s been hearing about a “new round of layoffs” for Time Inc., cuts at Southern Progress might seem to be at odds with the “top structural initiatives” recently outlined by Time Warner CEO and president Jeff Bewkes in his most recent financial results report when he said the company would be “increasingly focus[ing] on our goal to create and manage high-quality branded content, across multiple platforms around the world, at the highest returns possible for our stockholders.” At the same time, signs were there…

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