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HEALTHY FIGURES: Men’s Health editor in chief David Zinczenko has big plans for Women’s Health — and he thinks the title eventually could be bigger than its male counterpart. Zinczenko was promoted to editorial director of Women’s Health in June, and editor in chief Tina Johnson abruptly resigned from her post last week. A search for a new editor in chief, who will report to Zinczenko, began this week. The rate base for Women’s Health has ballooned from 400,000 at its 2005 launch to 1.35 million as of the January/February issue, and that number could soar to 2 million, he predicted. “We’ve pulled into the passing lane, and we’re poised to surpass a lot of women’s magazines now. We can see Glamour just up ahead. There are a lot of opportunities for Women’s Health because of the size of the market,” he said. “The women’s market is five times the size of the men’s market. I expect it to be a higher circulation than Men’s Health,” which has a circulation of 1.9 million. “Clearly a magazine like Glamour has shown that they can be above 2 million circulation and have 1,600 ad pages a year and create a really attractive lifestyle magazine.”
The October issue introduced new elements to Women’s Health, such as expanded fashion and beauty coverage, improvements in the printing quality and, most noticeably, a celebrity on the cover (Elizabeth Banks) rather than the models of past issues. “Men’s Health did well for years with models on the cover, and when we finally put celebs on the cover, we did even better,” said Zinczenko. “No reason to not take lessons that we learned at other Rodale titles and apply them here.” That includes celebrating such covers when possible — on Monday, the magazine will host a party at Gramercy Park Hotel for its October cover star.
This story first appeared in the September 5, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
— Stephanie D. Smith
THE WEB’S EVER-EXPANDING STYLE: Fashion and beauty Web sites such as Glam.com and Style.com now have yet another competitor for those prized ad dollars. AOL is relaunching its style and beauty site, StyleList.com, and further increasing its coverage to include videos, photo galleries, quizzes and tips on trends, hairstyles, shopping and celebrity style. In addition, makeup artist Carmindy from TLC’s “What Not to Wear” has been tapped as a beauty expert. “We are already the premiere destination for style on the Internet,” claimed Laura Eisman, editorial director of StyleList.com. “Advertisers like the new direction and more robust platform. Levi’s is on as a launch advertiser and they are also advertising during the holidays.” Since joining StyleList.com in October, Eisman has tripled traffic and page views are also up.
As part of the AOL Living network of sites, StyleList.com is number one, said a spokeswoman, with more than 3.8 million unique visitors a month, according to comScore Media Metrix. The AOL spokeswoman added that the site considers its competitors to be glamour.com, cosmopolitan.com, instyle.com, Glam.com and Style.com. StyleList.com already partners with Condé Nast and Hearst by featuring their magazines’ content and Eisman said AOL is in talks to further develop those relationships. “Unlike other sites out there, we are trying to appeal to a larger audience,” said Eisman.
— Amy Wicks
EVERYBODY HAS AN OPINION: Time Style & Design editor Kate Betts has recruited some extra reporting help for New York Fashion Week. Los Angeles-based columnist Joel Stein and Isaac Mizrahi will be blogging the shows along with Betts on time.com. Betts has blogged in previous seasons, but was inspired by Time’s political blog, Swampland, to expand the coverage. “I wanted to offer readers the same kind of inside, up-to-the-minute, offbeat look at fashion week as opposed to straightforward reviews,” she said. “Joel and Isaac, I hope, will add a lot of humor.”
Stein and Mizrahi also will approach the event from different perspectives. Mizrahi will contribute thoughts on the week from an insider’s viewpoint, detailing preparations for his own show, buyers appointments, press meetings and parties. Mizrahi also will do a video blog.
Stein will share his perspective as a newcomer to the tents. “My purpose is to explain what fashion week is like to people who have no real interest in fashion, but are curious about what the scene is like,” he said. “Not much different than my job the last two weeks in Denver and St. Paul. Or my job anywhere else, really. I like to call it ‘cultural reporting’ but others like to call it ‘the reporting of an idiot.’” Stein also hopes his sartorial selections allow him to “fit in” with fellow fashion week attendees. “If that meant tie-dye and concert T-shirts in high school, J. Crew pants and button-down shirts at Time and James Perse clothes here in Los Angeles, I’ll do it. Though, in a world without judgment, I would definitely dress like a pimp.” The blogs will go live today, the same day the latest issue of Time Style & Design hits newsstands.
SPOTTING HOT SPOTS: Domino is taking a break from mapping out where sofas and chairs belong in a room to call out the best places for coffee, a massage, dinner and shopping in its guide to New York Fashion Week. The survival guide includes recommendations from designers, editors and fashion insiders, including Francisco Costa, Bloomingdale’s fashion director Stephanie Solomon, Simon Doonan, Anya Hindmarch, Vera Wang, Lela Rose and Peter Som. Musings include recommendations on what to do for an hour in between shows — Humberto Leon, from Opening Ceremony, suggested Wu Lim Qi Gong Master Massage. “Ask for Michael.” Domino will hand out 10,000 of the manuals, sponsored by Smartwater, in locations and areas covered in the guide, including Bryant Park/Midtown, Uptown, Chelsea, Downtown West and Downtown East.
A NEW ADVOCATE: Venerable gay-oriented magazine The Advocate is about to get a facelift under new editor Jon Barrett and new ownership. It’s going from biweekly to monthly, changing the paper stock and retooling the content to focus on longer-form stories. At Barrett’s side for the relaunch is Amy Goldwasser, a freelance editor who had recent stints at Elle and Vogue, among others.
The Advocate, whose circulation was about 180,000 in the first half of this year, has traditionally been the more politically oriented title to Out’s fashion leanings. Last month, both were acquired by Regent Media, which also has Web, TV and film production holdings. Barrett previously worked at the magazine as well as at O at Home; O, the Oprah Magazine; Cargo, and Real Simple.
Switching to monthly frequency, he said, was an attempt to stay relevant in a media landscape that includes both popular gay-aimed blogs and gay issues being covered in the general audience press. “We need to go into the issues more deeply than anybody else, more thoughtfully than anybody else,” he said.
At the same time, the Advocate will expand its Web site, having hired its first Web editor and contracted broadcast journalist James Hattori to appear in Web video dispatches, starting at the political conventions. Goldwasser said the title is recruiting writers from general interest magazines, and the goal is to compete with other monthly magazines in the realms of news, travel, health and fitness and even fashion features, though the Advocate isn’t going to have well fashion editorial.
“In a way, a gay magazine audience is a dream magazine audience. It’s sophisticated and wry,” Goldwasser said. And, she added, unlike other magazines, there’s no need to be coy about areas of coverage like health and beauty for fear of alienating straight readers: “We don’t have to say, ‘Look at my airplane and my deodorant that’s shaped like a truck.’”
— Irin Carmon