Oprah Winfrey’s magazine, O: The Oprah Magazine, will stop its print production following the controversial resignation of its parent firm’s president.
Despite the magazine’s performance, staffers were told last Friday that the December 2020 issue will be the publication’s last.
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Former president of Hearst Communications, Troy Young, 52, resigned last Thursday. According to magazine employees, he created a toxic environment by saying sexually offensive things, The New York Times reported.
The Times reports that Young, made suggestive remarks about sex toys and emailed pornography to a senior editor.
Founded by Winfrey and Hearst Communications, a multinational mass media conglomerate, O has been in production since 2000.
Each issue features Winfrey and on the rarest occasion, a companion. One issue featured First Lady Michelle Obama.
Hearst also publishes Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, and Elle.
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Prachi Gupta, an Indian reporter who covered politics for Cosmopolitan, recalled how Black and brown women were made to “feel less than equal” at the company.
“Because there were no women of color in leadership positions, I was not able to seek advice or counsel when I was pushed into some of the uncomfortable positions,” she said, NYT reported.
While most magazines saw a decline in sales around 2009, O’s circulation gained about 5%, according to the Associated Press.
O also has a large Black subscriber base compared to most publications. Black subscribers represent 35% of O’s readers.
In terms of a having diverse female readers, the magazine is second only to Essence Magazine, beating BuzzFeed, Instyle, Refinry29, and sister publication Elle, according to Oprah’s media kit.
The magazine has an average circulation of 2.2 million copies and an audience of about 10 million.
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