Reader’s Digest Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection for Second Time

The iconic magazine is 91 years old and first filed for bankruptcy protection in August 2009

The holding company that owns Reader's Digest has filed for bankruptcy protection for a second time in four years, according to documents obtained by TheWrap.

The company is laboring under $465 million in debt.

RDA Holding Co.'s Chapter 11 filing comes as the magazine industry is struggling to adjust to declining print advertising and growing competition from other online outlets. Last week, Time Warner entered into talks to sell most of its 21 magazines to publisher Meredith Corporation.

Reader's Digest, a general interest magazine, was founded by DeWitt and Lila Wallace and went public in 1990. It is perhaps best known for its landmark 1952 report on the dangers of cigarette smoking.

In 2007, an investor group led by private-equity firm Ripplewood Holdings LLC bought the magazine for $1.6 billion and assumed about $800 million in debt.

Citing advertising declines and debt incurred from its acquisition, the company filed for bankruptcy in August 2009. It emerged in early 2010.

RDA publishes 75 magazines, including 49 editions of Reader's Digest, and has owned a handful of digital properties, such as Allrecipes.com. It sold the site, along with Every Day with Rachael Ray, to Meredith Corp. for $175 million last year.

The restructuring documents, filed Saturday in a White Plains, N.Y., court, was advised by Wells Fargo & Co. The company expects to be $100 million in debt when it exits Chapter 11.

A spokesperson for RDA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.