Mag Bag: Meredith Shutters 'ReadyMade'
Meredith Shutters ReadyMade
Meredith Corp. is closing ReadyMade magazine and cutting 75 positions companywide, reflecting "ongoing weakness in the home category/marketplace." While far fewer big magazines have closed in 2011 compared to 2010, the fate of ReadyMade serves as a reminder that large parts of the industry are still struggling, especially when they depend on troubled economic sectors like real estate.
ReadyMade -- a bimonthly do-it-yourself targeting younger women -- was closed after 10 years in print, including five years as a Meredith property. While popular among a sought-after demographic, its circulation (335,230) and overall reach remained relatively small, compared to Meredith flagships like Ladies' Home Journal and Better Homes and Gardens. That made it something of a "niche" publication -- and the odd man out in the Meredith roster.
To give some idea of the disparity, in the first quarter of 2011, ReadyMade's total ad pages declined 8.5%, compared to the same period in 2010, to 17.6, for total rate card revenues of about $700,000, per Publishers Information Bureau. Meanwhile, LHJ saw ad pages decrease 2.4% to 188, for total PIB rate card revenues of $42.9 million.
As part of these cutbacks, Meredith also announced it is taking a special charge of about $10 million related to the closing of ReadyMade and 75 layoffs.
Hearst Picks Pixazza
Hearst Corp. is beefing up e-commerce options on its magazine Web sites through a new partnership with Pixazza, which integrates e-commerce functionality with interactive images. For example, when a user scrolls over an interior decorating photo shoot, a small card from Pixazza appears, offering brief descriptions of products under the cursor, which allows the consumer to purchase the product.
Pixazza also produces a list of similar or complementary products available for purchase. Hearst is launching the new Pixazza service on the Web sites for Redbook and House Beautiful, integrating e-commerce options into images from advertisements and some editorial content.
GQ Partners with Park & Bond
Conde Nast's GQ is also bolstering its e-commerce options through a new partnership with Park & Bond, which will allow the men's mag to establish a virtual "boutique" on its site for at least six months, beginning with the first run from September-February. Possible renewals may follow. The fashion items and accessories sold in the virtual boutique will be chosen from among those featured in GQ, with about 12 products highlighted per month. GQ is also establishing a dedicated microsite linking to the boutique.
Watt Joins Time Inc. Branded Solutions
Dave Watt has been named vice president of sales for Time Inc.'s Branded Solutions division. Previously, Watt served as vice president and publisher of Health, including its Web site. In his new position, Watt will be responsible for leading a team of corporate sales directors. He will also coordinate with national sales and marketing staff to create branded programs for advertisers.
Segall To Hollywood Reporter SVP-Publisher
Lynne Segall has been named SVP-publisher of The Hollywood Reporter. She spent 20 years at the pub as vice president, associate publisher, overseeing 10 special issues and custom published sections. She rejoins THR from PMC, publishers of Deadline.com, TVline.com and Movieline.com.