Meredith’s newest magazine is capitalizing on the success of Lisa Lillien’s Hungry Girl empire, which includes a cooking show, 12 cookbooks, a newsletter that goes out to nearly three million subscribers, and a robust digital presence.
For Lillien, it’s a return to her “roots,” she said, since “I actually started my career as a magazine editor.”
The Des Moines, Iowa-based company, which publishes food and lifestyle titles including Family Circle, Better Homes and Gardens, All Recipes and Martha Stewart Living, and recently acquired Time Inc, started by signing on for two issues. The first goes on sale on Jan. 16, followed by a summer issue that will come out in May. The hope is that there will be enough demand for it to become a quarterly.
“When we evaluate partners, those folks that have an established brand and an established business and size and scale to their audience are really attractive to us. Obviously, when it matches up content-wise with what we do in food and home and lifestyle, it’s always a plus,” vice president and group publisher Scott Mortimer told WWD. “We have to check two or three boxes, and Lisa and her brand checked all of them.”
The idea of the magazine itself was to bring the appeal of Lillien’s food “tips and tricks” to print.
“We worked closely with Lisa and her team from Hungry Girl to produce the magazine itself,” explained editorial content director Michelle Bilyeu. “They’ve got the editorial and the direct understanding of their consumer, and we helped them create a vision and a design look and feel for the title that not only went along with their brand, but could become a new piece of their brand.”
“Her content, while it’s great in a digital format, also lends itself really well to the lean-back experience,” Mortimer added. “So sit in your favorite chair, grab your favorite cup of whatever you want to drink, and sit back and consume the content. We think it adapts really nicely to a printed format, especially a magazine.”
What a refreshing idea in these days when “digitally focused” editors are all the rage: A company that still believes in the “lean back” experience.