GR Family Magazine ceases publication
Gemini Publications rolls out last edition of highly decorated Grand Rapids Family Magazine.
A nationally acclaimed family and parenting publication based in Grand Rapids has produced its last issue.
Gemini Publications is discontinuing operations for Grand Rapids Family Magazine, effective with the fall issue. Gemini is the parent company of publications Grand Rapids Business Journal, Grand Rapids Magazine and Michigan Blue, among others.
The announcement came as part of the Grand Rapids media company’s 2016 organizational planning process.
John Zwarensteyn, Gemini Publications president, CEO and publisher, said the company will “wind down operations for its smallest brand, Grand Rapids Family Magazine, and redeploy talent and resources to its other higher-value publication properties. The final edition is the fall 2015 issue, publishing date (of) Sept. 1, 2015.”
Zwarensteyn said Gemini expects minimal costs in restructuring as a result of the decision. There will be no layoffs, and staff members already have been reassigned to other responsibilities within the company, he said.
Grand Rapids Family Magazine’s popular family activity guide will be added to Grand Rapids Magazine.
Grand Rapids Family Magazine was produced for an audience of parents and families in the West Michigan area. Gemini Publications launched the parenting publication in 1989, after local publisher Metropolitan Parent closed its doors. The new Gemini publication was named Grand Rapids Parent Magazine, and the first issue was published in April 1989. It was renamed Grand Rapids Family Magazine in April 1999.
Though the title has had steady sales, Zwarensteyn said it has not grown, nor has it performed as well as company management had hoped.
“It’s a competitive market, and for us it was a title that never really achieved the scale we had planned for it,” Zwarensteyn said.
Grand Rapids Family Magazine was considered one of the top regional parenting publications in the country, earning more than 100 national and regional editorial and design awards over the 26 years of its existence. It was a 13-time winner of the prestigious Parenting Publications of America General Excellence Award as the best parenting publication in America and Canada. Zwarensteyn said it clearly was a favorite of local families and family agencies.
“It is a sad day for our staff and the community,” said Zwarensteyn, “and we will miss the wonderful relationships we have built over the years as the only major independent family media resource in West Michigan. I would also like to thank all our great advertisers, event sponsors and loyal supporters. We enjoyed connecting with the readers, and they enjoyed being part of our extended family.
“It has been a great run. Perhaps we may see it again one day, but circumstances and habits have changed over time and we must move on. Our best wishes to all.”