New print magazine titles that manage to grab readers’ imagination can still thrive, even in a challenging media environment, as illustrated by the success of The Magnolia Journal – the quarterly home, craft and lifestyle magazine created around the brand founded by Joanna and Chip Gaines.
They duo earned millions of fans in their HGTV show “Fixer Upper,” which will conclude after its fifth season, set to being in November.
This week, publisher Meredith Corp. announced it is raising the rate base for The Magnolia Journal by 20% to 1.2 million, effective with the spring 2018 issue.
That’s a big increase in a relatively short period. Magnolia Journal launched in December 2016 with a cover price of $7.99 and an initial print run of 400,000, which quickly sold out. That prompted Meredith to print another 200,000 for a total launch circ of 600,000.
Meredith then increased the rate base to 800,000 for the fall and winter 2017 issues. Total circ quickly grew to 1 million, including 700,000 subscribers and 300,000 newsstand sales (a subscription costs $20).
Meredith Magazines president Doug Olson boasted: “On newsstands, The Magnolia Journal has averaged nearly a 70% sell-through rate, compared to the industry average of 25%.” The winter issue, set to hit newsstands on November 14, attracted new advertisers including Minted.com, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, Jif, Overstock.com, and the couple’s own Hearth & Hand with Magnolia home décor line, a collaboration with Target.
Previously, the couple announced the fifth season of "Fixer Upper," airing in November on HGTV, would be the last.
The Magnolia Journal covers entertaining, gardening, outdoor living, family, food and healthy living. It is the print extension of the Gaines’ Magnolia brand, which consists of the Magnolia Market store in Waco, Texas, a vacation rental called Magnolia House and Joanna’s Magnolia Home partnerships. (She has developed furniture, paint, textile and wall-covering lines.)