Sunset Magazine Struggling Amid Declining Ad Sales

Sunset magazine has been a California staple since 1898. (Credit: Jerome Adamstein/Los Angeles Times)

Sunset magazine has been a California staple since 1898. (Credit: Jerome Adamstein/Los Angeles Times)

For 120 years, Sunset magazine has been synonymous with California living.

Created by Southern Pacific Railroad to promote westward travel, Sunset has long been a tastemaker for the masses, popularizing backyard barbecues, hot tubs, midcentury architecture, weekend getaways, California wines and food culture, including a boom in avocados. The pioneering publication survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the Great Depression and ownership changes.

But there are dark clouds on Sunset’s horizon.

More than a dozen current and former employees and contributors interviewed by The Times describe an organization in disarray. Five top editors, including the editor in chief, have quit in recent weeks. Some freelance writers haven’t been paid for months. Sunset’s holiday issue, which typically lands in mailboxes in late November, has been delayed until nearly Christmas, in part because of a lack of advertising.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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