Mag Bag: RDA Launches 'Best You'

Reader's DigestRDA Launches Best You

With the consumer magazine industry entering a tentative recovery, Reader's Digest Association is betting on a new multiplatform brand -- which includes newsstand-only special-interest print publications, a daily e-newsletter and book tie-ins -- in 2011.

Best You targets women 35+ with a holistic approach to health and wellness; it is scheduled to launch on January 6, following a delay of nine months. (RDA previously put plans to launch the title in March 2010 on hold due to bankruptcy proceedings and broader economic conditions.)

Best You will deliver content via a free daily e-newsletter reaching 400,000 subscribers at launch; newsstand-only magazines, beginning with Instant Health Answers: A Total Guide to Wellness for Women; and a series of books, beginning with "Le Personal Coach," by French trainer Valerie Orsoni.



The e-newsletter will feature content in categories like "Look Good," "Get Healthy," "Eat Well," and "Embrace Life," along with humorous asides like "One Thing I'll Never do Again" and a "Weekly Deal."

In contrast to many other publications targeting women, the new brand will emphasize pragmatic, realistic approaches to self-improvement, according to Peggy Northrop, global editor for Reader's Digest . "There's a new reality when it comes to looking and feeling good. It's obvious that promises of becoming supermodel thin, developing killer abs, achieving a porcelain complexion, and emulating the hottest celebrity all at once, are false. Best You is designed to fill a void for busy women who are tired of those failed promises and want to become the best possible version of themselves."

Reader's Digest is also preparing to launch a paid iPad app for its flagship title, set to debut January 18. A new Reader's Digest will also debut next month when the redesigned magazine hits newsstands Jan. 18. In a money-saving strategy, the 10-times-a-year title will mostly consist of stories that have appeared elsewhere.

VivMag Launches Vivmaven Affiliate Network

VivMag, an all-digital women's lifestyle publication from digital magazine producer Zinio, has launched a new affiliate network to help grow audiences and revenues for both the magazine and blogs, as well as other digital media in the women's lifestyle arena.

The new Vivmaven affiliate network includes "The B.C. Chronicles" blogger Barbara Crooks, K. Tyson Perez of New York Times' noted, and FitWanderer blogger Karen Regn. The new affiliate network includes revenue-sharing from VivMag subscriptions sold on blogs or other digital media Web sites, as well as listing and promotional opportunities in the digital magazine.

Time Warner Retail Launches Holmes: the Magazine to Make it Right

Time Warner Retail has launched a new home-improvement title, Holmes: the Magazine to Make it Right, which has enjoyed strong subscription growth (at the rate of about 1,000 subs per week) since its launch in November.

Advertisers for the second issue, due out at the beginning of January, include 3M, Arrow Fastener, Armstrong Flooring, Behr Paints, Belgard Stone, Benjamin Moore, Bobcat, and Bosch Tools, among others.

Edited by Kelly Beamon, formerly of This Old House and Interior Design, the magazine capitalizes on the success of "Holmes on Homes," a program on HGTV documenting the projects of Mike Holmes -- a Canadian contractor who makes it his mission to fix sloppy (often dangerous, sometimes criminal) work by dishonest contractors who have left homeowners holding the bag.

Lagardère: We're Not Selling Hachette, Yet

After several weeks of breathless reports that Hachette Filipacchi Media was about to be sold by its French parent company (possibly to Hearst Corp.), Lagardère Active -- itself a subsidiary of Lagardère SCA -- has informed Reuters that no such deal is imminent.

The statement issued to Reuters reads, in part: "Rumors of an imminent sale of the international magazine portfolio appear to be coming from anonymous sources which do not seem familiar with the reality of the dossier." Although negotiations are indeed going forward, Lagardère emphasized that "no timetable nor exclusivity deals are on the agenda."

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