Barbara J. Litrell, publisher of women’s magazines focused on women’s contributions to the workforce, not hair and makeup, died July 4 at her home in Cottonwood, Arizona, at the age of 77.
Her husband, Michael Litrell, said the cause was complications from breast cancer.
Ms. Litrell became publisher of McCall’s in 1991, which was then owned by The New York Times Company. Kate White, who was editor-in-chief during Ms. Litrell’s tenure there, remembered her consistently.
“When we don’t get a specific advertising job,” Ms. White recalls, “tell the person, ‘Tell us what we need to do next time to make it happen.’” Ms. Litrell said she “burns with the idea of helping and empowering women.”
Ms. Litrell went on to become the publisher of Working Mother and Working Woman. In 1999, he became president of the magazines’ parent company, MacDonald Communications Corporation.
A newsletter announcing her appointment said that under her leadership, ad pages increased by more than 15 percent for the Working Woman and nearly 25 percent for the Working Mother in 1999.
Ms. Litrell thrived in the brilliant golden age of print media, which was not always friendly to women. Women editors and executives were often brought together on topics of fashion or human interest.
Working Woman and Working Mother took a different approach by focusing on the roles of women as active participants in the workplace. Noliwe Rooks, a professor at Brown University who studies the history of women’s magazines, said this is in line with the shift of women’s cultural ideal from the domestic to the public sphere.
This shift raises the question, said Dr. “How do we hold on to gender cues and femininity and what challenges?” Rooks said. “There are a lot of women’s magazines that deal with this,” she added.
Working Mom, under Mrs Litrell’s stewardship, the lives of women who provide for the household (“Don’t Call Him Mr. Mom” from 1999), investment advice (from “401(Maximize Your k”), 1998) and childcare (from “A New Twist on Tears,” 1999).
Barbara Jean Gallichio was born on February 4, 1944, in Manhattan, to Rocco and Genevieve (Plish) Gallichio. His mother was a housewife and his father worked as a cobbler.
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She grew up in the Bronx and attended Preston High School, a Roman Catholic school for girls, and Good Counsel College in White Plains, NY. After earning her French degree in 1965, she continued to study French for seven years. teacher.
In 1972 she married Mr. Litrell, an accounting employee at Cablevision. He is survived by a brother, named James Gallichio, with him.
Ms. Litrell joined The Times’ advertising department in 1972. He began working with phones and steadily climbed the ranks, becoming marketing director for The New York Times Magazine in 1987 and group sales director for The Times in 1989.
She retired in 2000, and two years later she and her husband moved to Sedona, Ariz, writing in an obituary she prepared for them to play golf every day.
While in Arizona, Ms. Litrell became involved in local politics and was elected to the City Council in 2010. He served for four years.
He also became a real estate agent and was active in numerous nonprofits. A friend of his, Tommy Acosta, described him as “an NBL with a born leader”.
Miss Litrell continued to talk about women’s issues. in 2017 letter to the editor Published on azcentral.com, the digital home of the Republic of Arizona, argued that female senators could make more progress on health legislation than men.
“I bet 21 women senators can do behind closed doors what 13 men can’t,” he wrote.