Home Sick:: The fold of Metropolitan Home

With yet another shot heard 'round the social media networking sites, blogs and on the street, on November 9th the closing of Metropolitan Home was confirmed.

This week we discuss the magazine's beginnings - as the much loved '70's shelter publication, 'Apartment Living' to its elegant shift in style and title, "Metropolitan Home" and finally it's untimely demise . What's next or rather who's next?
We take our hats off with due respect to Donna Warner who has led her editorial team in the outstanding 26 year run of the modern luxury magazine. You will be missed Met Home.

Powered by Podbean.com



Anonymous said…
Great discussion. I still wonder, however, if many of the shelter mags that were closed were done so because they were operating at a loss, or because they weren't making enough money to fit in with the parent company's business plan. When TIME closed Southern Accents, for example, I believe they said it was because they wanted to focus on their core businesses; Met Home's publisher said they wanted to focus their resources on Elle Decor. Both statements seem to imply that the mags were indeed profitable, but were closed for another business reason. In which case, I wish they sold the magazine to another party rather than close it.

Along other lines, I was under the impression that local shelter mags were doing very well, such as Washington Spaces and Atlanta Home. If local mags are doing well, but regional mags (Veranda) are suffering...anyone know why?

Anonymous said…
Thank you for this very timely discussion. I thought you might be interested in this recent articles from the NY Times which gives some insight into which magazines are holding their own, and which are not:http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/09/business/media/09mag.html?scp=7&sq=&st=nyt and http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/12/business/media/12mag.html?scp=2&sq=&st=nyt. You appear to be right about Architectural Digest. There seems to be some hope in that House Beautiful's December numbers are up.
Unknown said…
Those styling and photo crews are the last dinosaurs, who hang on to the productions and I believe are not needed to that degree!!!!Where is the common sense??? What a waste of money. For crying out loud, we talk about photos....I know, quality is important, but... Many people live on less then
$30,000 a year. Where are the relations???? I am so upset about all that. I work so hard on a project and make a fraction of this in 6 month...and I am sure the creative efforts and results in the life of people are bigger! This is so overdone and not appealing. If those are the reasons to fold, well then, good riddance. A pity, that we all have to suffer for the attitude of those and the arrogance of the ones who feel so entitled!!!
So, now there you have it! The big vent!!!
I wanted to say it for a long time!
There are so many talents out there and it's time to go broad again, humbler...and more in touch with our times!
Sarah said…
Good discussion...just wanted to add that the UK has two great magazines to check out: 'Ideal Home' and 'House Beautiful' - other than those I covet House Beautiful, Veranda and Elle Decor. I also started getting 'Better Homes and Gardens' because I needed a replacement mag for those gone. I hope no other magazines go down!
katiedid said…
Couple of things:
1) A Friend who is photographer for major publications like Met Home would charge designers a fee of $2500-$3000 for a full day shoot plus travel expenses if far away.This would include post production photo retouching, etc. He would also style a shoot for an extra fee. Perhaps this wil be the way it will be done more often in the future. Maybe people like Vicente Wolf who styles and shoots his own interiors will be more and more appealing to magazines in the future to save expenses?
2)I heard/read somewhere that Met Home had a loss of 4 mill last year. Hard to maintain that as the parent company. And I agree. I wish more of the issues had been better. There were some wonderful things, but sadly, perhaps not enough.
3)I was one of the "Thank God for Elle Decor" people, and I equate Margaret Russell with Elle Decor and it's success (as it says in the post). She is amazing!
4)Luxe....don't get me started!

I'm like you guys! I really looked forward to my stack of magazines every month!I keep hoping there will be a revival after the recession dies down, but it may be in a different form. But I can dream.
Hi Megan, Linda and Joni,
Enjoyed so much hearing the discussion. Y'all were asking what's left...the only magazine I still take is Traditional Home, which I don't like as much as I used to because some of the interiors are way too eclectic/modern for my taste. I fall in and out of love with Traditonal Home...I subscribe for a while, then stop, then start again. I LOVE, but am not currently subscribing to, Garden and Gun. I think I'll change that this evening...I really miss it! They actually mention the current "magazine crisis" here on their website: http://gardenandgun.com/newsletter/hanging-tough.
I still like Southern Living and I think it probably survives because of the variety they offer...decor, gardening, recipes and local interest articles. And Southern Lady seems to be hanging in there...another one I enjoy for the amazing pics and outright oooh and ahhh factor. I guess none of these are exactly "decorator" magazines, except Traditional Home, so the ones I've mentioned may not be what you had in mind.
Joni, you tickled me when you mentioned driving around each week to pick up the latest publications. One of things I used to always look forward to (and still do) is splurging on 3-4 magazines all at once at Christmas time. I always found the Christmas issues to be THE BEST ones of the whole year...or so it always seemed to me. I couldn't wait to get my hands on them. I think Megan is right...this is like a forest fire and when all the ash settles, I bet we'll be seeing the birth of some fabulous new magazines. They will come back smarter, leaner and perhaps more customer focused. Thanks again for keeping us all informed...appreciate you all!
Concrete Jungle said…
Great discussion all and all....
Joni's right re:Luxe it looks like many of the fancy Real Estate selling publications....
Do you ever catch Belle from Australia or any of the
French home magazines Cote de Sud etc. they often have some real inspirations!
I still love Traditional Home, Veranda and House Beautiful. But have you noticed how thin they are? I am not like you. I did not throw my mags away. I started collecting in 1997 and am now going through them taking pictures and doing my blog on them and if they aren't that great, finally I am throwing them away. But Better Homes and Gardens had so many beautiful Special Publication mags they put out in the 2000's. I don't see those anymore. What happened? www.rivieraboardwalk.blogspot.com
This is the result of the information/digital age. Not the covers, or the features nor the styling. Advertisers are putting their ad revenue/budgets where the people are and that is online. This paradigm shift is swift and shocking. All those 'mag people' are going to have to look for careers in other arenas. And think about all the journalism students!!! (Newspapers are in big ka-ka too) Where are they going to go? They will become bloggers I guess. AD seems so old-fashioned to me. Elle Decor rocks the mag house. I think it is so sad - all the magazines closing. I really do. I love holding a magazine in my hands. Smelling the ink. Running my fingers down the sheen of the smooth paper. Hugging the pages. Coveting the rooms. But the change is over, the closures are just catching up. The Internet is a hungry beast at times. Love you guys. Keep on keepin' on. No 'head office' can shut you gals down! LPxo
Another magazine shutting down?! This makes me sad :(
Unknown said…
It's just time for a inter-reinvention! Technology is here and we are at a cross roads in our economy. I'm excited to see what our combined design brain power will create next. We blog and podcast which was just a thought even 5 years ago.

Who would of thought we'd come this far and look how much more we interact and learn each blog post/podcast time. We're learning at lighting speed, something fantastic always replaces a trusted path with appreciated new direction. You have to "See" the potential to create the reality...awareness

Fargerike Dagny said…
Great discussion! (as usual :)) Thought I should give my two cents on foreign magazines, mainly Scandinavian. In this area we're not seeing anything like what's going on in the states. However, the magazines are dependant on subscribers / shelter sales and NOT advertisers. One magazine costs between $8-18, and a 12 month subscription would cost around $90.

About 10 times as much as a US mag... I have heard that a few of the mags (not many) are getting restrictions on making their own spreads, and have to purchase finished or already used spreads instead. However, for shoots there's usually just a photographer and a journalist (plus maybe a stylist, but not in all cases). So it's definitely a different world!!
ooops...I posted on Cote de Texas by mistake...here is my input.

Just listened to the skirted round table. So interesting..here are a few of my thoughts. Met Home billed more revenues than Elle Decor and had a wider distribution, however, when it comes to choose between two magazines, Elle Decor is the original French brand and Hachette Filipacci could not favor a US brand Magazine against the International Elle Decors brand. I have worked with both magazines and they have extremely talented people with very different design points of view. With the loss of Met Home, the Modern Design World has lost its voice. At least we still have the french Residence Decoration...No need for translations, the pictures speak for themselves.I have had many projects published in Met Home, my last one was shot 10 days ago which was supposed to be for spring 2010 publications.My Tara space is featured in the very last issue , this December issue. Here is how it worked, I will let you figure out the budget as I feel it is not my place to do so but i can assure you it is on a string line. Linda O' Keeffe, my friend and editor arrives at 8:30 Am with Antoine Bootz ,one of my favorite photographer and his assistant and myself. Antoine and Linda scout out the shots, the light. We style, move a few things around and shoot all day until we loose the light. As Antoine shoots, linda and I style the next shot, his assistant is working editing images on his laptop, works on the light etc... Long grueling day, perhaps half an hour break for a sandwich. Fun work, no frills, no glam. The next day, Linda is off on the next shoot... then Antoine and his assistant work with Linda on the shots before they go for layout.
The workload for editors at both magazines if grueling but they work with such enthusiasm, incredible energy, and at night...off to the party circuit as they are sponsored events that they need to attend.
Last night, at the event in my showroom both members of Met Home and Elle Decor teams were there including the publisher, cheering Samantha Nestor for the launch of her great book: Living with Wine...make sure to get a copy, it feature the most fabulous wine cellars...I will miss my friends from Met Home. Francine
Lauren said…
Sad to think about how many more might go... although it feels like there's barely anything left. I was an occasional Met Home reader so don't feel as personally affected by its closing but do feel terrible when thinking about the people involved & the readers who really lost something.

I am still not over Cottage Living. At all. Then comes Domino. For young ppl in their 20s I don't really know what's left. I do love HB and Elle Decor & Country Living but none of them feel like "me." You know when a magazine just feels like it's yours??? And you just love everything in it...

Elle Decor & House Beautiful cause my jaw to drop but I really miss having a magazine that makes me feel super-comfortable & that features creative rooms that are doable for young ppl on a budget. I love it when a magazine inspires me to get up off of the couch & make a quick change in a room -- because it's that doable & you often don't have to spend an arm and a leg to get a new look.

Maybe the loss of these magazines for younger readers are because we don't have the money & the advertisers don't want to waste their money on us? That's my guess...

Anyway, things are changing... I LOVED Lonny Magazine when it came out but have to admit I want it in PRINT badly. Online just isn't the same. If it were in print, I think it would be at the top of my list.

Great discussion!!
Dianne said…
When my new issue of House Beautiful arrived yesterday I noticed that they had cut the issues to 10 for the coming year instead of 12. This is my favorite and I am so sad. Hope it isn't an omen for what is to come for this publication.
Apartment Home was my first magazine love. Oh, how I loved it-my husband & I made the furniture they showed us how to, ate the meals they showed us how to cook, and bought what they featured. :)

As far as today's magazines go, I think that the budgets are mainly at fault. {I too was shocked when Layla mentioned the magazine flew out clothing and hairdressers for them, for goodness sakes!!}

Some of the magazines whose editors I personally know, don't have huge budgets. These editors do practically everything themselves, even shoot some of the photographs for minor features. Their publications depend more on subscribers for their budget than the advertising income. No, they are not superglossy and over the top fabulous every issue, but, they are still in business!

Our whole world is changing, advertising is moving to online, email newsletters take the place of advertising, and many subscribers are going online to read design blogs instead of reading magazines. I hope we still have some great reads left, otherwise, we all better blog like crazy to feed our need.:)

So many reasons the big magazines have gone. It's sad...I really miss many of them. Thank goodness I can still race to the store to buy the French and English magazines, like Joni!

xo another winning discussion, ladies.
Beth Connolly said…
Another sad announcement for shelter magazines and print journalism, but it is not only the economy. It is that most people are getting their content online. This will not change when the economy does fully recover. Many many more magazines and newspapers will go under. Subscriptions are cheap, but there are so few shelter magazines I wish to subscribe to. I hated Metropolitan Home. I couldn't care less that it folded except intellectually. It had no personality or style, period. I predict Architectural Digest will fail-stodgy, sterile, ugly, and pretentious and Southern Living-need I explain? I still haven't gotten over Domino, but I do like House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and Veranda. Give these to friends and family as gift subscriptions this holiday season. It's something we can do to support them.
I may be biased, but Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles has rocked these past few years.

Great discussion.
Anonymous said…
Note to Francine:
Regardless of your own personal allegiance, it's important to keep in mind that magazine companies are businesses, and key decisions are not made on the basis of emotion.
Clearly, Met Home was folded by its parent company because it was not a viable business and it was far less successful—in terms of both advertising revenue and newsstand sales—than Elle Decor.
To report otherwise is simply irresponsible; the financial facts speak for themselves.
Geee !!!1
I mentioned Met. going out of business a while ago..Hope others do not get the ripple effect ..like a house of cards
I buy Veranda .
If you read the old editions of
Architectual Digest, they had such designers and style.
Compare the new edition, it is dull, to much advertising. Infact
some are so $money hungry there
is nothing to read but a few lines of trash. MORE ADS