Outside Goes From Print To Screen

  • by January 30, 2006
Outside magazine is joining the ranks of many of its brethren in attempting to extend its brand beyond the boundaries of the printed page and onto the television screen.

The independently owned magazine says it has formed a partnership with a California-based production company to create television programming based on the editorial content of the magazine, which covers adventure, travel, sports, and products associated with an active lifestyle.

A spokeswoman said the magazine's goal is to develop a television series that would probably be pitched to a cable television network. However, she added that the two companies would not exclude the possibility of shopping the series to a broadcast network.

Although the project was described as not being driven by advertising, the spokeswoman acknowledged that ad packages promoting synergies between the magazine and the TV series would most likely be pitched to potential advertisers.

"Each month, Outside brings the world to its readers--people who seek a bigger, more active lifestyle and explore the horizons of adventure," said Mary Turner, deputy editor of Outside. "By creating inspiring television projects, we'll be able to bring the active lifestyle to a broader audience."

Outside and the production company, Santa Monica-based KAOS Entertainment, said they also will consider opportunities to produce short videos for the magazine's Web site (www.outsideonline.com).

In past years, several consumer titles have become involved in a variety of television projects, all designed to help extend the titles' brand beyond the print medium and to compete more effectively for the attention of consumers who have become increasingly bombarded with new media choices.

Last year, MTV: Music Television and Seventeen, a Hearst publication, partnered on a show chronicling the magazine's search for a girl to crown "America's Sweetheart." The winner is to receive prizes including a college scholarship, a paid internship at Seventeen, and her face on the cover of the magazine.

Time Inc.'s Real Simple has a weekly half-hour show on PBS that offers the same kind of advice, tips, and solutions to household problems found in the printed version. While actual TV shows are among the more ambitious projects that magazines attempt, a large number of titles have introduced elaborate Web sites that include videos and other forms of electronic communication, as well as service-oriented features to attract readers.

Outside is owned by Mariah Media, which is controlled by founder and chairman Lawrence Burke. In 2005, the magazine reported 923 ad pages compared to 932 in 2004--for a miniscule decline of 0.9 percent, according to figures from the Publisher's Information Bureau.

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