Southern Progress Corporation is proud of its Southern twang. The company publishes its popular Southern Living title, as well as Sunset, Cooking Light, Health, and Coastal Living. Its Oxmoor House unit publishes cooking and crafts books. Southern Progress also offers custom publishing services, and has produced titles for clients such as Lowe's, Publix Super Markets, and the State of California. The company was formed in 1886 when Col. Leonidas Polk created Progressive Farmer magazine. Southern Progress is a unit of Time Inc. Its magazines operate as part of Time's Lifestyle Group.
Like most players in the magazine world, the company had been hit hard by a weak economy that has ravaged advertising sales and consumer spending. In response, in 2009 the company sold its direct selling unit, Southern Living at HOME, which allowed "hostesses" to sell products such as pottery, candles, and kitchen items through "home parties". Time sold the business in order to focus on its core publishing operations.
Southern Corporation had been trimming other assets as well in order to cut costs. In 2009 it ceased the print version of design magazine Southern Accents (the magazine's website, SouthernAccents.com, continues to operate). The previous year it shuttered Cottage Living, a magazine targeting a more rustic lifestyle. The company's most recent launch, Cottage Living was four years old.