Monday, November 24, 2008

And the Readers Digest We Know Bites the Dust...

From Levine Breaking News:


Mary Berner hates the musical chimes that have played for decades in the Readers Digest Association headquarters. She asked about replacing the 1950s elevator music, she says, with rock n roll, but she settled for updating the tunes, and the next step is we get rid of the chimes.

Ms. Berner has been a jolt to the system for this stodgiest of media companies since she became chief executive in a private equity takeover 20 months ago. She has replaced executives, sold unprofitable businesses and even set out to change the companys name, shaking it up any way she can. Most important, the company is taking risks, starting dozens of new magazines at a time when its peers are contracting.

One of the biggest new ventures, to be announced Monday, is a multimedia partnership with Rick Warren, the renowned minister and author, hoping to tap into the vast audience for his book The Purpose Driven Life. Together, they are creating a Christian membership organization, The Purpose Driven Connection, built on Mr. Warrens call to faith and charitable work. Paying members will receive a quarterly magazine edited by Mr. Warren, with DVDs and pull-out study guides in each issue, and access to a social networking Web site.


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