Rodale, Inc.

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Rodale, Inc.
StatusDefunct, 2017
FounderJ. I. Rodale
SuccessorHearst (magazines)
Crown Publishing Group (books)
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationEmmaus, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Publication typesMagazines, books

Rodale, Inc. (/ˈrdl/), was an American publisher of health and wellness magazines, books, and digital properties headquartered in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, with a satellite office in New York City.[1] The company was founded in 1930. In 2017, it was acquired by New York City-based Hearst Communications, a media conglomerate.

The company launched and published health and wellness lifestyle magazines, including Men's Health and Prevention, and books, including the bestsellers An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore and Eat This, Not That by health writer David Zinczenko.


Men's Health magazine, published by Rodale since 1986, has a monthly global circulation of 1.8 million in 59 countries.

Rodale Inc. was founded in 1930 by J. I. Rodale. He was a partner with his brother, Joseph, in Rodale Manufacturing, which produced electrical switches. Joseph moved Rodale Manufacturing to Emmaus, Pennsylvania to take advantage of favorable local taxes, while J. I. dabbled in publishing. In 1942, Rodale started Organic Farming and Gardening magazine. It taught people how to grow food with organic farming techniques. Today, Organic Gardening is the best-read gardening magazine in the world.[2] In 1950, Rodale introduced Prevention, a health magazine.

In 1971, J. I. Rodale died during a taping of The Dick Cavett Show, and his son, Robert Rodale (1930–1990), took over the company’s leadership. On September 20, 1990, Robert Rodale was killed in a car accident during a business trip in Russia.

In 1972, Rodale Press was one of the five founding members of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) (now IFOAM–Organics International), founded at Versailles, France.[3]

Following Robert Rodale's death, his wife, Ardath Harter Rodale (1928–2009), became chairman and chief executive officer of the company. In 2000, Steven Pleshette Murphy joined the company as president and chief operating officer, and was named president and CEO in 2002.[4] On June 18, 2007, Ardath Rodale stepped down as chairman, and her daughter, Maria, was named chairman. Ardath remained a member of the company’s board and took over the new title of Chief Inspiration Officer. On September 1, 2009, Murphy stepped down as President and CEO. Maria Rodale, granddaughter of company founder J.I. Rodale and daughter of previous chairpersons Robert Rodale and Ardath Rodale, succeeded Murphy as CEO.[5]

Sale to Hearst[edit]

In October 2017, New York City–based Hearst Communications announced it would acquire the magazine and book businesses of Rodale. The transaction was expected to close in January following government approvals. Rodale announced some months prior that it would consider a total sale of the company, among other alternatives explored by its board of directors. It hired financial adviser Allen & Co. to lead the search for bidders. According to a source familiar with the negotiations, Hearst outbid Meredith Corporation, another large media company that had expressed interest in Rodale’s portfolio, almost immediately after they solicited offers.[6][7]

After the sale, Hearst sold Rodale's trade publishing division to Crown Publishing Group, a subsidiary of Penguin Random House.[8]


In 2007, Rodale launched Modern Times, an imprint focused on non-fiction, politics, current affairs, and biographical books headed by Leigh Haber, previously of Hyperion.[9][10] Modern Times was discontinued in 2008.[11]

Rodale Kids, a children's imprint, was launched in 2017, and was absorbed into Random House Children's Books in the 2018 sale.[12]




  • Agatston, Arthur (2003). The South Beach Diet.
  • Gore, Al (2006). An Inconvenient Truth.
  • Hammond, Darell (2011). Kaboom! How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play.
  • Kidder, David S. (2006). The Intellectual Devotional.
  • Kurzweil, Ray & Grossman, Terry (2004). Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Maher, Bill (2005). New Rules: Polite Musings from a Timid Observer.
  • Rose, Pete (2004). My Prison Without Bars.
  • Zinczenko, David & Goulding, Matt (2007). Eat This, Not That!.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Gore, Al (2017). An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.

News website[edit]

Rodale News' website was launched on Earth Day, April 22, 2009, with the tagline “where health meets green".[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Global reach statistics for Rodale, Inc". August 19, 2008. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  2. ^ "On Gardening: Words Do Describe these Christmas Gifts". Yakima Herald. December 2008. Archived from the original on February 6, 2009. Retrieved February 17, 2009.
  3. ^ Paull, John (2010). "From France to the World: The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM)" (PDF). Journal of Social Research & Policy. 1 (2): 93–102.
  4. ^ "BusinessWeek May 2002". January 9, 2005. Archived from the original on January 4, 2005. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  5. ^ "Business Week July 2009". January 10, 2014. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  6. ^ Wagaman, Andrew (October 18, 2017). "Media giant Hearst will acquire Rodale". The Morning Call. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  7. ^ Trachtenberg, Jeffrey A. (October 18, 2017). "Hearst Agrees to Acquire Rodale Inc., Publisher of Men's Health and Runner's World". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  8. ^ Milliot, Jim (January 9, 2018). "PRH Buys Rodale Books Assets". Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  9. ^ Blumenau, Kurt (January 11, 2007). "Rodale launching Modern Times. The new book imprint will cover categories including politics, narrative nonfiction, current affairs, memoir, biography and humor. It will help distinguish them from health, wellness books". The Morning Call.
  10. ^ Neyfakh, Leon (June 19, 2008). "Haber Out at Rodale Three Months After New Boss Takes Helm; Imprint to Shutter".
  11. ^ Swanson, Clare (July 4, 2014). "Meet the Editor: Shannon Welch".
  12. ^ Wood, Heloise (January 10, 2018). "Penguin Random House buys Rodale Books". The Bookseller.
  13. ^ " launch". Forbes. April 22, 2009.[dead link]