Commentary

Evolving Women's Media: A Fuller Perspective

Hollywood Life has come a long way in the decade since its inception, not least because of who it competes with in the algorithm ecosystem. 

Bonnie Fuller, its President and Editor in Chief, talked about competing today with the likes of the Washington Post in coverage of shows like "Bachelorette." "I guarantee you, young women today are not reading the Washington Post," she told the Publishers Insider Summit on Friday.

Because search engines like Google have tweaked their algorithms to bring legitimate news sources to the top, "our competitive set has changed," she said, and Hollywood Life finds itself competing against the likes of People, US Weekly and TMZ. 

The magazine was launched in the fan-obsession days of the "Twilight" movies and Tiger Woods and his mistresses. Then, said Fuller, the brand discovered its readers were counting on it to cover the news; it did so with the 2016 election in a big way with voter registration and an emphasis on women's issues. As Fuller said, "You have to take advantage of where women's eyeballs are."

More recently, Hollywood Life started podcasting. "It's a tremendous way to get talent in," said Fuller. "We use it as a source of content creation." It videotapes the podcast, then cuts up the video to post on social media. "We get at least two great news stories, and we always get a great portrait from our photographers. And we always ask the celebrities [interviewed] to promote them."

Now that the company is a part of Penske Media, Fuller said she has access to a direct sales team for the first time. Penske owns Women's Wear Daily, Variety, SheKnows and BlogHer and has just created a SheMedia division. "We are working on events together," she added.

In order to diversify, Hollywood Life has been working with platforms like Apple News, which she said has been a "fantastic place to showcase editorial and build audience. A lot of us are trying new things. As a brand, it is important to have content in front of as many eyeballs as you can."

Fuller is a publishing legend, having launched Marie Claire in the United States, taken over Cosmopolitan from founder Helen Gurley Brown, led Glamour and rethought US Weekly and AMI.
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