The company listed assets and debt of more than $1 billion each in Chapter 11 documents filed yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, New York, reports Bloomberg.
“We have had an ongoing process to simplify and rationalize our international business by licensing our local markets to third parties, to other publishers, to other investors and that has been a big part of our effort to streamline the company and bring in proceeds to bring down debt,” Robert Guth, Reader’s Digest’s chief executive officer, said yesterday in an interview.
The company’s flagship print magazine is read by more than 25 million people, according to its website. The company publishes 75 magazines globally including 49 editions of Reader’s Digest, Taste of Home, the Family Handyman and Birds & Blooms. Reader’s Digest “sold more digital editions in December than we did newsstand editions,” Guth said.
Lew Rockwell points out:
Readers Digest was a hugely influential national institution, in part because, in its heyday, it was a CIA house organ. With all its international editions and offices, it was useful to the agency in more ways than just propaganda. And it provided well-paid sinecures to many war intellectuals and Republican ex-officials.