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Yahoo to ax a bunch of its digital magazines

Things have been super-busy at Yahoo this year. But not in a good way.

The company earlier this month announced it was laying off 15 percent of its 11,000-strong workforce and closing a number of overseas offices as part of measures to cut expenses by $400 million. There’s been plenty of speculation, too, about the future of Yahoo’s core Web business as pressure grows on CEO Marissa Mayer to knock the Internet pioneer into shape.

“I am asking shareholders to understand this is a complicated situation,” she said in a recent interview.

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The latest? Yahoo is shuttering a bunch of its online magazines as part of a digital shake-up at the company.

In a post on Wednesday announcing the move, Martha Nelson, Yahoo’s global editor-in-chief, said the axed mags include Yahoo Food, Yahoo Health, Yahoo Parenting, Yahoo Makers, Yahoo Travel, Yahoo Autos, and Yahoo Real Estate.

Nelson said the move to phase out the digital publications will allow the Web company to focus on its four “most successful” areas, namely news, sports, finance, and lifestyle.

“While these digital magazines will no longer be published, you will continue to find the topics they covered, as well as style, celebrity, entertainment, politics, tech and much more, across our network,” the editor-in-chief said.

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The decision to shutter the digital magazines will come as a blow to Mayer, the driving force behind the product that she also personally unveiled during CES 2014. The launch included some big hires, too, among them former NY Times columnist David Pogue for Yahoo Tech, which, incidentally, has survived the cull.

The idea to attract more eyeballs to Yahoo (and its ads) by pushing more heavily into content seemed uncertain from the start.

“Despite the bold hires and grand ambitions, the plan to turn Yahoo into a media giant has a been-there, done-that feel, and it is far from a sure thing,” the NY Times commented just a few months after the launch of Yahoo’s digital magazines.