Family Media Inc., which publishes Discover, Health and several other magazines, is discontinuing operations while the owner seeks a buyer for the magazines.

Robert Riordan, who owns the publishing company, told staffers the weak advertising market and "an economy which hinders the ability to borrow new money" forced the move.The shutdown provides one of the most dramatic examples to date of the recession's impact on the magazine industry, where ad volume has plunged in the past two years and forced the closings of several publications.

Family Media employs about 209 people, most of them in New York where it's headquartered.

The trade journal Advertising Age reported earlier this week that Family Media was laboring under a debt load of $60 million to $70 million and was under pressure from lenders. It said the company was "urgently shopping" all its magazines last week.

As a private company, it does not disclose earnings or revenue figures.

Discover was one of its biggest-circulation magazines at 1.1 million. It bought the publication several years ago from what was then Time Inc.

It also publishes 1,001 Home Ideas with a circulation of 1.65 million; Homeowner at 775,000; Health at 800,000; Tennis Illustrated at 500,000 and Golf Illustrated at 500,000.

Family Media also publishes Your Family, designed for patients in doctor's waiting rooms. Family Media distributed 100,000 copies of that magazine to 27,000 doctors' offices 10 times a year.