In the beginning, there were magazines (before radio and TV). Then television created the “magazine” format program (such as 60 Minutes, 20/20, 48 Hours). Now, the magazine comes around full-circle as we see TV programming crossing over to the printed magazine format.
Hearst plans to test its new HGTV Magazine patterned after Food Network Magazine.
Hearst launched Food Network Magazine in 2009. Since then, its circulation has soared to 1.3 million. Like Food Network Magazine, HGTV Magazine will start with two test issues, planned to hit newsstands in October and January. The test period will be used to gauge interest in a full-scale launch set for 2012.
The test issues will feature talent from the home and lifestyle network offering readers tips, tricks and expertise and a behind-the-scenes look at their shows. Content will include gardening, entertaining and food.
The test will have a distribution of 300,000 copies. Like its Food Network counterpart, HGTV Magazine could work because it has a built-in promotional vehicle of the network to get it off the ground.
Roberta Garfinkle, director of print strategy at TargetCast expressed her opinion, “I think it’s a good formula, to build a magazine based on a successful TV concept. You go into it with a built-in audience as opposed to having to go out and find new people.”
Should this effort yield encouraging results – we’ll probably see much more crossing-over from one media to another. Does this mean that a “Google Magazine” will be gracing the shelves of newsstands across the nation? Only time will tell.