11:40 18 February 2010
After 72 years, the British arm of Reader's Digest magazine has filed for administration.
The highly regarded magazine, which was frequently heralded as the best-read in the UK, featured a range of real-life stories, recipe ideas, arts and culture features, gardening tips and other features, allowing it to become a staple of doctor's waiting rooms.
The closure threatens 117 jobs at the companys offices in Canary Wharf, East London, and Swindon, Wiltshire.
However, the administrators said the company would continue to operate. Its American parent company, Readers Digest Association, said it was no longer able to support the British edition after plans to plug its £125 million pension deficit failed.
For many the decision to file for administration represents the end of an era.
The companys motto family, home, love and life had been emblazoned on the subscription-only magazine for years, giving it a quaint, old fashioned appeal that now appears to be out of date.
Reader's Digest has a worldwide readership of 70 million across 50 variants after being set up in New York in 1922 and then launched in the UK in 1938.
In its heyday, Reader's Digest frequently sold more than two million copies in Britain, but sales have slumped to 540,000 in recent years.
The filing in Britain comes weeks after the Pensions Regulator rejected a proposal by the American owner to inject a lump sum into the companys pension fund and take an equity stake in the UK business. The pension scheme has 1,600 members.
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