Big day for I'On goes awry

Cottage Living magazine, which was planning to profile an environmentally friendly home in North Charleston's Mixson development (above), is ceasing publication.

First, the groundbreaking ceremony had to be postponed. Then the I'On Group encountered a slightly bigger problem in the planned promotion of a new home at its North Charleston real estate development.

Cottage Living, a national magazine that was planning to profile the environmentally friendly residence in an upcoming issue, is ceasing publication, its owner, Time Inc., announced this week.

The edition that's for sale now on newsstands will be its final publication.

Local officials were supposed to mark the groundbreaking of the 1,900-square-foot home on Summey Street in the Mixson development Thursday. The event had been postponed earlier this month because of what were described as scheduling conflicts.

The demise of the magazine was announced Wednesday by Time.

Vince Graham, president of the I'On Group, said he's talking with similar lifestyle publications, including Coastal Living and Southern Living, to see if they want to feature the home in their pages.

"I think they will probably pick up where Cottage Living left off," he said.

Work on the house probably will start by the end of the year, Graham said.

Cottage Living was planning to promote the Mixson residence as its "2009 Idea Home." Money raised from tours of the property before its eventual sale were to be donated to charity.

Earlier this year, Cottage Living named the 3,000-acre area around the old Navy base in North Charleston one of its top 10 cottage communities, bringing national attention to the area, Graham said.

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"I think the folks at Southern Progress (a Time subsidiary) were really supportive of the development and redevelopment going on in North Charleston," he said.

Time, the No. 1 U.S. magazine publisher, blamed the closing of Cottage Living and its Web site on the ailing economy and the fallout from the weak housing market.

"Since its inception, Cottage Living attracted significant advertiser support and fostered a loyal following among readers," Sylvia Auton, a Time executive vice president, said in a statement this week.

"However, the economic downturn has particularly affected the shelter market, and while the brand was genuinely loved by readers and advertisers alike, the economy inhibited its ability to grow and therefore, sadly, we had to make the decision to close it," she said.

The magazine was launched in September 2004 with a circulation of 500,000; circulation grew to 1 million by January 2007, the company said.