Meredith is bringing back House & Garden in a new incarnation — bookazines — licensing the brand from Condé Nast.
House & Garden launched in 1901 and was shuttered in 2007. Now, Meredith has tapped Better Homes and Gardens editor-in-chief Stephen Orr, who served as garden editor at House & Garden for a decade in the 2000s, to oversee two special issues planned for release in 2017.
While it may be unusual for one big publisher to license a brand from another, Orr told Publishers Daily the relationship between the two companies has been “collegial” and collaborative. Meredith will handle the content creation, advertising sales and marketing and production and distribution for House & Garden.
He called the advertising “very select” in the bookazines, saying it is "much more limited than in a normal consumer magazine.” For many readers, the return of the brand is like seeing “an old friend.”
Orr also noted the trend of high-end niche publications “celebrating the beauty of print.” The longer format of the special issues lets readers unplug and consume editorial in a “leisurely fashion. There are plenty of people who still like the activity of flipping pages through a paper product.”
The spring/summer issue hit newsstands May 2 with an initial retail distribution of 200,000 copies and a $9.99 cover price.
The first issue is 100 pages and focuses on high design, interior design, gardening, landscaping and architecture, ranging from practical ideas to inspirational photography. The issue has 13 pages of advertising from Hunter Douglas, Ralph Lauren Home, Heritage Home Group (Henredon), Circa, Lee Industries, Kohler, Behr, AZEK, Calico and DXV.
Orr's team is comprised of staff from Meredith and Better Homes and Gardens; it is already working on the fall/winter edition. “We will see how [the two issues] do and then have a conversation about what happens next,” he added.