Time Inc. to end Life magazine but keep it online

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Time Inc. said on Monday it would stop publishing Life, the iconic photography magazine that has been a weekly newspaper insert since 2004.

LIFE Magazine Prototype. LIFE to return as weekend magazine distributed in daily newspapers. (PRNewsFoto) [Photo via Newscom]

Although April 20 will be Life’s last print issue, the brand name will survive on the Internet, Time Inc., a unit of Time Warner Inc., said in a statement.

It is the latest magazine to shut down as more readers desert print publications for online news and photos.

“Growth requires taking risks, and the potential upside was huge, but unfortunately the timing worked against us,” Time Inc. Chief Executive Ann Moore said. “The market has moved dramatically since October 2004, and it is no longer appropriate to continue publication of Life as a newspaper supplement.”

Time is laying off 15 editorial workers and 27 in its business department in connection with the shutdown, said spokeswoman Dawn Bridges.

“Obviously we will try to place as many people as possible in open Time Inc. positions,” she said.

The company plans to keep Managing Editor Bill Shapiro, Executive Editor Maggie Murphy, President Andy Blau and Publisher Peter Bauer, she said.

Life has had more than one life since Time started publishing it in 1936. It shut down in 1972, but came back in 1978 before being shut down again in 2000.

Time will make Life’s collection of 10 million images available online, with “the most important collection of imagery covering the events and people of the 20th century” available for free for personal use, it said.

The public has never seen more than 97 percent of the collection, which includes pictures by Alfred Eisenstaedt, Margaret Bourke-White and Gordon Parks, Time said.

The announcement comes after the company launched a redesigned version of its U.S. newsweekly Time. Earlier this year it announced plans to cut 289 jobs from its estimated 11,300 work force to lower costs as it invests more in the Internet.