A little more than a week after announcing it was eliminating 111 employees and consolidating positions company-wide, Emmaus, Pennsylvania-based Rodale Tuesday reported third quarter revenue was down 5 percent compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, revenue through the first nine months was up 2.5 percent.As a privately held company, Rodale did not release specific figures but attributed its year-to-date revenue growth to continued expansion of its Women’s Health and Best Life magazine brands and to revenue from the Flat Belly Diet! and Eat This, Not That! books. Rodale expects to sell more than one million copies of each book by year’s end.“While our advertising is affected by the market downturn, we’ve been able to achieve our profit goals by delivering books, magazines and online products digitally to our growing global audience,” president and CEO Steven Murphy said in a statement. Rodale, it says, saw third quarter digital revenue—including from its magazine sites—increase 22.7 percent over the same period in 2007. Online advertising for its magazine sites was up 18 percent while print advertising revenue was down 1.7 percent.Revenue for the Men’s Health brand—including sales from Eat This, Not That!—increased 10.7 percent during the third quarter, the company said. Advertising revenue at magazine, which saw ad pages fall 14.8 percent during the quarter, decreased 11 percent. Online revenue was up 30 percent.The Women’s Health brand recorded the largest growth with combined revenue increasing 38 percent over the third quarter in 2007. Also seeing growth during the quarter was the Best Life brand (30.4 percent), the Runner’s World Media Group—which includes Runner’s World and Runner’s Times magazines (10 percent) and Organic Gardening (25.7 percent).Revenues were down at Rodale’s Cycling Group—which includes Bicycling and Mountain Bike magazines (-22.8 percent), Rodale Books (-15 percent) and its direct marketing group (-17 percent).Rodale said the layoffs and staffing consolidations were necessary “in order to shift resources toward its highest growth potential activities,” including its online, book and international businesses. Rodale has launched 11 international magazine editions so far this year.
Sedans 2020 Volkswagen Passat: Almost all-new We last saw a new Volkswagen Passat eight years ago, a relative eternity in the automotive world. On Monday at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, VW introduces a heavy refresh of its midsize sedan. I refrain from saying “all-new,” simply because, aside from its updated design, the Passat’s powertrain and technology remain largely unchanged. Enlarge ImageA new grille dominates the 2020 Volkswagen Passat’s front fascia. Volkswagen The 2020 Passat has a more rakish roofline and the grille is wider, with slimmer LED headlamps. The LED taillights are reshaped as well, and Volkswagen has added quad exhaust tips. While 17-inch wheels are standard, drivers can move up to 18- or 19-inch wheels, depending on model. The Passat has always had plenty of interior room, and thankfully, that hasn’t changed. V-Tex leatherette or Nappa leather are both available and the interior comes in your choice of four colors. Heated front and rear seats are available, as well. Volkswagen reading • 2020 Volkswagen Passat refresh focuses on style Detroit Auto Show 2019 Feb 4 • 2020 Kia Telluride: Detroit Auto Show debut turns Super Bowl ad star Feb 7 • Chevy’s full-scale Lego Silverado is plastic fantastic in Chicago As with the 2019 model, the Passat comes standard with forward collision warning and emergency braking, now with a new pedestrian monitoring system. Also standard is blind-spot monitoring and rear traffic alert, but adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist are both optional. A new Parking Steering Assist can automatically guide the Passat into a tricky parallel or perpendicular parking spot. Volkswagen’s aging MIB II infotainment system comes on a new glass-covered touchscreen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard and a premium Fender stereo system is available. Unfortunately, because the Passat doesn’t move to Volkswagen’s scalable MQB platform, you can’t have it with the company’s excellent Digital Cockpit gauge display. Enlarge ImageThe Passat’s interior remains as roomy as it ever was. Volkswagen The Passat will still be powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, good for 174 horsepower. The good news is that a new torque converter and tuning ups the torque from 184 to 207 pound-feet of twist for 2020. The Passat puts power to the front wheels only, with a six-speed automatic transmission. When much of the competition sports an eight-speed transmission — heck, even the company’s own Jetta compact sedan has eight gears — the choice to not upgrade the gearbox is curious. Pricing has not yet been announced, but the 2020 Volkswagen Passat will be available in the summer of 2019. Detroit Auto Show: See all the latest coverage. Volkswagen: All the VW news from Detroit and beyond. May 14 • History of the Toyota Supra, a Japanese sports car legend 6 49 Photos More From Roadshow 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value • See All Share your voice 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better Tags Comments 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous Detroit Auto Show 2019 Volkswagen Jan 22 • Our highlights of the 2019 Detroit Auto Show