Christianity Today to close four publications, lay off 31 workers

Cites hard times in the industry
Publishing powerhouse Christianity Today International, citing hard times in its industry, is shutting down four publications and laying off 31 workers.

According to a plan announced May 22, two magazines will fold: Today’s Christian Woman and the Campus Life College Guide, which targets Christian undergrads. CTI will also cease to publish Glimpses, a worship bulletin insert with stories from Christian history, and Church Office Today, a bimonthly newsletter for church administrators.

The moves, which reduce staff numbers by 22 percent to 108 employees, mark the latest attempt to cut costs at Carol Stream, Illinois–based CTI. In January, the organization shuttered two other magazines—Marriage Partnership and Ignite Your Faith—and sold a third, Today’s Christian.

President and publisher Harold Smith called the latest actions necessary. “We find ourselves—as does our industry—in the midst of a perfect publishing storm,” Smith said in a statement. “The impact on employees who are truly gifted—and the impact on the church as a whole—is a sobering reality for me and the entire CTI team that remains.”

The cuts came after CTI experienced drops in both print and online advertising revenue over the past six to nine months, according to chief operating officer Carol Thompson. Those declines, she said, came on the heels of shrinking circulation figures at certain CTI publications over the past five years.

Each of the four publications scheduled for closure will cease publication later this year, said executive administrative editor Marty White. Some layoffs took effect May 22, she said; others will take effect this summer.

CTI will continue publishing nine print magazines and newsletters, including its flagship Christianity Today and Leadership Journal. The organization traces its roots to evangelist Billy Graham, who founded Christianity Today in 1956. –Religion News Service