Idearc Media halts regional magazine

11 employees laid off in Annapolis

June 04, 2008|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,Sun reporter

Idearc Media, a Verizon spinoff that publishes yellow and white page phone directories, said yesterday that it has shut down a regionally published, monthly home improvement magazine and laid off 11 employees in its Annapolis office.

"We are no longer producing our Solutions at Home magazines in Annapolis, which featured two titles - Chesapeake and Baltimore," Charlsi Thomann, a spokeswoman for Dallas-based Idearc Media, said in an e-mail. "These business decisions are never easy."

Thomann did not give a reason for the shutdown. She said the company would continue to produce its Solutions at Han d magazine, which focuses on home remodeling, in other cities, but would not specify which cities.

The company's Web site lists offices that produce magazines in Philadelphia, Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads and central New Jersey.

Kymberly Taylor, who had been regional editor for Solutions at Home's Chesapeake and Baltimore editions, said news that the nearly two-year-old magazine was closing came as a shock. Taylor estimated the staff for both titles at 20 people, some of whom were free-lancers.

The free magazine, which featured content on home decor and design, gardening and profiles of architects, home owners and builders, was sent to about 80,000 households in the Baltimore and Annapolis areas, Taylor estimated.

"We're all heartbroken," Taylor said. "We felt it was a great concept that never had a chance to reach its potential."

She said the staff was told that the magazine was discontinued because projected revenues were not met.

On its Web site, Idearc says its business model is based upon connecting consumers seeking solutions with businesses that provide those goods or services.

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