Move to Iowa? No Thanks

Meredith Corp. is relocating something called “ReadyMade”  magazine from Berkeley, Calif., to Des Moines, where the company is headquartered.

Evidently ReadyMade is a hip craft magazine for women with West Coast sensibilities and a hot glue gun. Now, the San Francisco Chronicle reports  there are fears that a move to Des Moines will ruin the magazine:

With its net income down 44 percent over the previous year (as of Sept. 30), last month Meredith cut 7 percent of its employees, shut down Country Home magazine and announced it would relocate the creative staffs of ReadyMade and Parents.com to Des Moines, Iowa.

That meant ReadyMade staffers had a choice: Move to Des Moines or try to weather the recession in the Bay Area – or elsewhere. None of the half dozen editorial employees chose Iowa, according to a representative for Meredith.

The move raises the question of how the change will affect ReadyMade’s hip editorial sensibilities. The magazine was part of the Urban Ore/East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse neighborhood that surrounded it; its editors were talking about sustainability issues before sustainability was cool. Fans are concerned that it will take on the more traditional, Midwestern tenor of its corporate siblings when it is headquartered in Iowa.

 So better to be unemployed in San Fran than employed and writing about hip craft projects in Des Moines. Ouch.

I went to the ReadyMade Web site to bask in its hipness. Among other things, I found tips on planning an office party, provided you still have an office, and a downloadable pattern for a dog jacket.

I could not find any suggestions for converting my traditional tenor into coastal coolness, however. Shoot. I got my glue hot for nothing.

So will ReadyMade survive it’s forced exile to the heartland? I say it will. I mean, are dogs going to stop getting cold? I don’t think so.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Move to Iowa? No Thanks

  1. I think one of the things that made ReadyMade so likable and successful was its location to a very sustainability-minded Bay community. It was a very unique voice because of both its editorial staff and also because of the influences on its editorial staff. Because of the move to Des Moines has not only marked the end of the local flavor, but also the end of that particular editorial voice.

    There are lots of sites, magazines and articles that can explain how to reuse everyday products for useful projects, but very few that do so in a way that is entertaining to read. That’s what ReadyMade had… That’s what I’m concerned ReadyMade will lose in its forced relocation to Iowa.

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