Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Christianity Today Ends Four Publications

Christianity Today International, a nonprofit religious publisher based in the Chicago suburbs, announced the cancellation of four titles, Folio: reports.

Referring to a "perfect publishing storm," CTI's president and publisher Harold B. Smith announced the closure of Today’s Christian Woman, the Church Office Today newsletter, the Campus Life College Guide, and Glimpses. This follows the closure of two other CTI publications, Ignite Your Faith and Marriage Partnership, in January. Thirty people will be laid off as a result of the latest cancellations.

Smith had kind words for the people being laid off: "The impact on employees who are truly gifted — and the impact on the church as a whole — is a sobering reality for me and the entire CTI team that remains." That might be taken as required corporate-speak coming from most publishers, but I can attest from experience that it's heart-felt coming from CTI. (I had a one-year internship at CTI in the early 1990s, during which I learned that, first of all, I'm not an evangelical, but second, CTI treats its employees -- including interns -- better than any other company for which I've worked; it doesn't pay very well, but it's open, irenic in disagreements, professional in all dealings, encouraging to young staffers, and I think it deserves a lot of publishing respect even from folks who don't agree with its expressed faith.)

CTI was founded in 1956 by Billy Graham and is generally regarded as the leading publisher of mainstream evangelical Christianity in the United States. Its flagship magazine, Christianity Today, has a circulation of about 150,000. In his announcement, Smith noted the continuing strengths of Christianity Today and Leadership (a magazine for church leaders). "These iconic brands, along with the myriad web properties tied to them, will once again point the way for this ministry in the days, months, and years to come," he predicted.

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