AROUND THE GLOBE: Rodale is exploring international launches of Best Life, Women’s Health and Runner’s World this year in Russia, Brazil and China. A spokeswoman said it’s not clear yet where the titles will land, adding that the company also is considering two or three more Men’s Health international editions in the next 12 months. During the fourth quarter, Rodale added Women’s Health editions in Mexico and Australia, Runner’s World in Mexico and Prevention in Romania.
The publishing company revealed the plans in reporting that last year, total magazine ad revenues were up 23 percent and magazine-branded Web site revenues increased almost 83 percent compared with the prior year. According to data released by Rodale on Friday, Men’s Health’s revenues rose approximately 11 percent compared with 2006 and advertising revenue increased 19.4 percent versus the prior year. At Best Life, ad revenues were up 61.1 percent and Runner’s World recorded an 8.2 percent increase in ad revenues. At Women’s Health, revenues spiked 145.6 percent, thanks to 116 new advertisers including Nike, L’Or??al, Volvo and Dove. Exact dollar figures for revenues and further details were not released. — Amy Wicks
COMEBACK: Joe Dolce hasn’t been seen much since leaving the top post at Star, but the former editor in chief of Details has now resurfaced, in a venue that — a bit like Dolce himself — enjoyed some notoriety but recently opted to be under the radar: Culture & Travel, the Louise MacBain magazine launch briefly headed by James Truman. Culture & Travel’s current editor, Kate Sekules, said Dolce is a friend and that he’s working on another piece to follow the one in the January-February issue, which is about traveling to Myanmar. In it, Dolce describes his trip to the Asian country three years ago (suggesting a piece that was long shelved), contemplating the ethics of traveling to a country with an oppressive regime. It’s that complexity Sekules said she liked and that suited her vision for the magazine. So what else is Dolce up to? His contributor’s note says he is “currently dabbling in cyberspace”; Dolce, through Sekules, declined comment. (Asked if he was blogging or working on a start-up, Sekules said it was neither.)
This story first appeared in the February 25, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
As for Culture & Travel, it has put out two redesigned issues under Sekules with contributions from the likes of Jill Greenberg and Anya von Bremzen, under the aegis of a renamed company — formerly LTB Media, now Louise Blouin Media. Shortly after Culture & Travel launched alongside the art media properties MacBain moved from London to New York, she fired a rash of her executives, and most have now been replaced: She has hired a chief financial officer Peter Cipriano and a chief operating officer Bruce Morris, among others. Ellen Asmodeo, who was the longtime publisher of Travel + Leisure and is now at Louise Blouin Media as an independent contractor and president of brands, also has been assembling an advertising staff, including Claude Girard, who was until recently executive director of strategic development at Architectural Digest.
Asmodeo’s already added several travel advertisers to Culture & Travel’s art-centric mix, and is hoping to lure those ever-desired luxury brands into the book, offering them in return “the top customers at a price point that isn’t going to kill them.” (All of the magazines, including Art & Auction, remain a presence at art fairs, but Culture & Travel recently returned to some newsstands, and Asmodeo said it’s hunting for someone to run circulation.) And even if a luxury downturn is around the corner, Asmodeo said: “The good thing about us is that we’re only going up from here.”
— Irin Carmon