Jenna Bush Hager has left her job with NBC's "Today" show in order to return to her southern roots. She has been named the editor at large for Southern Living magazine, which hopes to attract a new, younger generation of readers.
According to reports, Hager will also contribute a monthly column and write for the Daily South blog, in addition to writing for her personal blog, the Novo Project. Her monthly column is entitled the Paper Napkin Interview, according to the New York Times.
Hager grew up in Texas, and Lindsay Bierman, the current editor in chief of Southern Living, hopes to capitalize on her life experiences, love of the South, and popularity in order to bring renewed interest to the magazine.
"I did get the sense that her heart is still very much in the south," Bierman told the Times. "I felt her passion for the South was going to translate into what she would do for Southern Living."
Hager confirmed exactly what Bierman said and added that she was "kind of like a homesick Texan living in New York. I grew up reading this magazine [Southern Living]. My mom had a subscription. It's something that I've always known about."
Southern Living is a classic magazine that celebrates all things southern and has been in print since 1966. In 1985, Time, Inc. purchased the magazine for $498 million and has turned it into one of the largest lifestyle magazines in the United States.
The magazine features decorating tips as well as famous recipes that are all compiled in an annual cookbook that sells incredibly well. Right now Southern Living has a readership of approximately 2.8 million, and with the addition of Hager, the corporation hopes to considerably grow that number.
Now that Hager is seemingly returning to her roots, it may mean she has more time to work on a wish made by her father. "I don't have any children," she told People magazine last year. "I just have a cat, to my parents' dismay. My dad saw my husband's boss at a conference, and he said to stop paying my husband until we produce children."
However, Hager has intentions of successfully building Southern Living and making it appeasable to a new audience. "There's a new generation of Southern women that I'd love to speak to," she told the Times. "Entertaining and food and all the things that Southern Living does so well is something I don't do on the 'Today' show."