Reader's Digest Reviews | Glassdoor

Reader's Digest Reviews

Updated August 23, 2017
153 reviews

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2.2
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Reader's Digest President & CEO Bonnie Kintzer
Bonnie Kintzer
31 Ratings

153 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Most managers seem to try to accommodate work-life balance when possible (in 11 reviews)

  • Great people who really try hard to turn the Magazine around (in 13 reviews)

Cons
  • Not exactly great for morale and a slap in the face for all the hard work people were doing (in 5 reviews)

  • Major achievements went completely unrecognised and unnoticed by senior management (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Moving Ahead"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Reader's Digest full-time

    Pros

    Great People
    Moving in a new and more digitally focused direction,

    Cons

    Still have major ties to the traditional ways of doing business and an aging demo

    Advice to Management

    Continue to bring in experienced sales and management


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Wasted Potential"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Reader's Digest full-time

    Pros

    RD had a long run as a leader in the magazine world with it's flagship publication -- eventually succcesfully diversifying into related fields such as books, music and video. Unfortunately they also diverisfied into stupid stuff, like poorly conceived narrow-interest magazines which had already failed, etc. After a string of mismanagement blunders reduced what had been a top-of-the-line company to near bankruptcy, RD brass sealed the company's fate by gutting its most profitable division: Books & Home Entertainment.

    Cons

    I served as a Reader's Digest Editor for over 20 years (1982-2003) and watched it fall from one of the very best companies in the U.S. to work for to bankruptcy -- and in my role, while I generated tons of money for the company, I was powerless to stop RD from committing corporate suicide. After both the founders died, RD went from a privately held firm to a public company run by top execs more interested in lining their own pockets than allowing the company to adapt to changes in the marketplace. Their cry seemed to be "We want change -- as long as we don't have to do anything different." This head-in-the-sand ivory tower attitude resulted in the RD being one of the last media firms to embrace anything beyond what had worked for them in decades part -- from creating an internet presence to -- believe it or not -- the acceptance of credit cards. (I remember being told in a sales meeting in 1985 that "our readers don't have credit cards" -- a tool which had employed by merchandisers since 1950! Reader's Digest was founded on the principle that people did not have the time or money to subscribe to loads of periodicals and therefore would welcome a single magazine which became a "reader's digest" -- gathering the best content from all other periodials in one place. That made sense at the time (1922!) and makes even more sense today amid the multimedia blitz of 2017. RD today SHOULD be a media powerhouse -- but perpetually undercuts itself by operating as a museum of generic, nontopical content. While hipper publications can turn on a dime, generating up-to-the-minute relevant content, RD's months long lead time before publishing an issue is nothing short of insane. The organization has the habit of hiring execs based on which Ivy League college they went to rather than any actual mamagerial skill or even knowledge of the subject matter their department is supposed to handle. Then, when those execs fail in one department, they're simply shuffled over to mismanage another one. The insight and experience of those they "manage" counts for little or nothing -- as does any research into what their target demos REALLY want to learn about. I was with RD when they stupidly reduced and then shut down their most profitable divsion -- their Home Entertainment unit -- which was gnerating no less than 60% of RDA's entire corporate income -- while the flagship magazine was generating but 25%. RD today still possesses a great deal of potential -- but as I can glean from the reviews posted here, the current management is just as clueless and out of touch with the marketplace they're supposed to attract, hold and satisfy as ever.

  3. "Fine"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    It was a really interesting company.

    Cons

    I was post-bankruptcy clean-up after the second declaration of "too big to fail" by a court.

    Advice to Management

    Super great brands!


  4. "Administrative Ad Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Ad Sales Assistant in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Ad Sales Assistant in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Reader's Digest full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I really enjoyed my time working here. They are a fair employer and treat their employees very well. Even though we were a remote office we had lots of support l.

    Cons

    I not have much to say for cons. Like I said in my pros this was a great company to work for.


  5. "Like the Titanic..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Reader's Digest full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Paychecks don't bounce, as of yet.

    Cons

    Cuts costs and qualified staff at the expense of the products. Toxic workplace. Dismal compensation for freelancers.

    Advice to Management

    Didn't listen while I was there, except managers claiming my lucrative ideas and hard work.


  6. "Quadruple the work of five years ago with 1/3 the staff and no raises"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in White Plains, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in White Plains, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Reader's Digest full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The people that work there are friendly and most are hard-working and dedicated. Nice to have a location in Westchester to commute to (as opposed to NYC). Free garage parking. Most managers seem to try to accommodate work-life balance when possible.

    Cons

    Lots of people at the top getting bonuses every year, while most employees have not gotten raises in 5 years or more. Company continues to shrink while the workload increases. Many employees work late every night and often on weekends to complete their tasks. Layoffs continue and morale is very low. Many managers still resistant to people working at home.

    Advice to Management

    Be more open to work-at-home policies and be open to hiring an appropriate amount of staff to complete the work required.


  7. "Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Reader's Digest full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits. Great co-workers. Nice location.

    Cons

    I really do not have any cons

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work

  8. "Not the Most Creative Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Editor in Milwaukee, WI
    Former Employee - Associate Editor in Milwaukee, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Reader's Digest full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    My manager was very devoted to her job and supportive of other editors. Most of the staff I worked directly with were wonderful. Excellent downtown location and office space. Very good work/life balance. Not a lot of people working long hours. The office is usually empty by 5:00 on a Friday.

    Cons

    It wasn't a very innovative company. We all know the magazine industry is in decline, but non of the people in a position to make real change are very forward thinking. It feels like a stagnant environment even though there are some talented people working there.

    Advice to Management

    Take more risks. Be more flexible.


  9. "Accountant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Reader's Digest part-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    good flexible hours and work

    Cons

    none that I can think of


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Such a shame"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Reader's Digest full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The people! Colleagues within the product divisions were always talented and hard working. Benefits were once above average for Corporate America.

    Cons

    Culture; environment; management. More and more work with cutbacks; no appreciation for most employees, only upper echelon. Two bankruptcies; no raises for 5 years; bonuses still given to top shelf. Benefits reduced. No personal development. No career path.

    Advice to Management

    Good luck. All the best have left.


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