Jenna Bush Hager Named Southern Living Editor-at-Large, Hopes to Attract Younger Audience

by Nancy French



Those of us fortunate to grow up in the South always had a dog-eared copy of Southern Living on our coffee table. (It was right under the Reader’s Digest.) Well, now Southern Living is hoping to attract a younger readership with President George W. Bush’s daughter, Jenna:

Southern Living, a magazine with features on decorating fireplace mantels and profiles of former President Jimmy Carter describing how he hunts holiday turkeys, has a loyal following among middle-aged Southern women. Now it is bringing in a younger voice to attract a new readership.

Jenna Bush Hager, a correspondent for NBC News’s “Today” show and daughter of former President George W. Bush, is joining the magazine as an editor at large. She will contribute to a monthly column called Paper Napkin Interview and write for a blog called The Daily South. The Southern Living blog will also share content with an inspirational blog, The Novo Project, that Ms. Hager started with her friend Mia Baxter.

Lindsay Bierman, Southern Living’s editor in chief, said that while Ms. Hager, 31, was not hired purely because of her youth, he thought she had the right kind of enthusiasm to contribute to the magazine.

“I did get the sense that her heart is still very much in the South,” Mr. Bierman said. “I felt her passion for the South was going to translate into what she would do for Southern Living.”

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