Cooperative Living Magazine
Cooperative Living magazine got its start on November 1, 1943, as a publication titled Rural Virginia published by Southside Electric Cooperative. In October 1946, Mecklenburg and Northern Piedmont (which merged January 1980 with Virginia Electric to become Rappahannock Electric Cooperative) subscribed to Rural Virginia, and the publication was transferred to the state association. The magazine’s name was changed to Rural Living on August 1, 1970. Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative edition’s name was changed to Current Living on April 1, 1993. Then, in January 2000, both magazines were combined under one title, Cooperative Living. The magazine serves 12 of the 15 member cooperatives, with a combined circulation of over 500,000. According to an independent survey, the magazine is read by more Virginians than Reader’s Digest, with 80 percent reading half or more of each issue.
Nationwide, there are 32 rural electric publications with a total circulation of over 9 million. That makes the electric co-op statewide publications network the third-largest magazine-publishing enterprise in the nation.