Life comes to an end a second time

March 18, 2000|By New York Times News Service

NEW YORK -- Life magazine, which died in 1972 as a weekly publication only to be resuscitated six years later, will cease regular publication after its May issue, its parent company, Time Inc., said yesterday.

Life showcased generations of prominent photographers as the premier U.S. picture magazineand will still come out periodically in special issues, some of which will commemorate "milestone events," Time said in a statement. Life will continue to publish books and will launch a Web-based business.

Once a pillar of Henry Luce's publishing empire, Life becomes a traditional media casualty in an industry with an increasing Internet presence. In a statement, Don Logan, chairman of Time Inc., and Norman Pearlstine, the company's editor-in-chief, called Life a valuable and honored franchise whose name deserves to be preserved.

"However, despite the exceptional efforts of a number of talented publishers and editors, the publishing formula for a monthly general interest magazine was just not sustainable," they said.

Logan and Pearlstine said the "new strategy would be the best way to maintain the Life brand."

Luce conceived Life in 1936 and published the first issue on Nov. 23. The start-up team included Alfred Eisenstaedt, who became one of the century's most influential photo-journalists.

After Life ceased weekly publication in 1972, special issues appeared for the next six years.

The original magazine distinguished itself in refining the craft of modern photojournalism.

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