Second acts are a funny thing in media — if they happen at all. The old hands of the establishment often find themselves joining ranks with those who have disrupted the industry.
Count Joan Kron, who spent 24 years writing for Allure as one of its first editors, as one of those defectors. Her former colleague, Allure editor in chief Linda Wells, is another, having signed on to write for Hearst and New York Magazine’s The Cut.
Kron, Allure’s former contributing editor at large, has become contributing editor of The Live Box Magazine, an online publication that is part of The Live Box Network Inc. The network provides video and digital content to aesthetics and beauty markets, including plastic surgeons, dermatologists and salons. Live Box works much like Apple TV, but offers in-office content via smartphone to customers during their appointments.
“Think of it as Netflix for business,” said founder David Yepiz, a former contributor to the development teams of The Huffington Post and Myspace and vice president of sales for Philips Electronics WebTV. Yepiz said the network is available in about 600 locations nationally and in Canada, which he estimated gets about 1.5 million viewers a month. For the magazine, he didn’t provide an estimate but noted that the company makes use of e-mails that it culls from clients. Each practice averages 2,500 e-mail addresses.
Yepiz met Kron three years ago when she was covering a plastic surgery trade show, and she accidentally ran over him with her scooter and knocked him over — although she denies that part. The two struck up a conversation about his business and remained in touch ever since. Kron said when the news broke that Condé Nast was remaking Allure’s masthead, Yepiz reached out.
“I chose this venue,” said Kron of Yepiz’s magazine. “[At Allure] I always enjoyed writing blogs and the immediacy of it.”
What struck Kron in particular was that Yepiz’s readers were being delivered content instead of having to seek it out. That kind of “on-demand” content appealed to the editor, who hinted that the service could be the future of magazines. “In an ordinary blog — most of my colleagues, if they’re working — you have to know the URL. He [Yepiz] reaches into a waiting room and he finds the people,” she said. “It’s like Big Brother in a way.”
For Live Box magazine, Kron will continue to cover plastic surgery and beauty standards as she had at Allure. She will also oversee her own vertical and pen a column called “Joan Kron’s Before and After Report.” It will offer content ranging from Caitlyn Jenner’s transformation to the politics of nose jobs. Cofounder Robin Keyser edits the magazine, which will attract a broader swath of subjects, including entertainment, film and the arts to pair with beauty-centric topics.
“My first piece is going to be on the word ‘ugly,’” Kron told WWD. “It’s more of a think piece.”
The editor will write on a weekly basis, have guest editors contribute to her site, and commission works of freelancers down the line. Kron explained that she has complete editorial freedom from the industry supporting Live Box. The company said it is “organically funded,” and that here is no advertising as of yet. Subscriptions cost $99 a month right now, and for the complete system, it costs $5,000.
Kron’s work will begin popping up on the magazine’s site lvbxmag.com this month, and will ramp up once she ties up another project: her film on female comedians and their relationship with plastic surgery. Called “Take my nose…please!,” the documentary will be finished by May and will likely debut in fall film festivals.