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- Celebrities, Politicos and Media Types Party During White House Correspondents’ Weekend
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THE UNDERSTATED JOURNAL GETS EMPHATIC ABOUT PUNCTUATION: Let the inevitable comparisons to The New York Times’ T begin: The Wall Street Journal’s new glossy magazine has officially jettisoned the name Pursuits in favor of…WSJ. That’s W-S-and-J — period included. (So, too, let the punctuation wrangling commence.) A spokesman confirmed the name: “Its understatedness suits the personality of the Journal and avoids the pretense and artifice of many bad magazine names. The three letters happen to be typographically quite pleasing. And its simplicity gives us enormous flexibility visually and semantically.” The logo was designed by Tomaso Capuano, who was recently hired from The Times of London to be art director at WSJ., and who designed The Financial Times’ How to Spend It. The spokesman said the idea was the consensus for business and editorial, “because both sides believed it would resonate with both readers and advertisers respectively.” The magazine’s editor, Tina Gaudoin, will take WSJ.’s early materials on a “road show” to advertisers in London, Milan and Paris next month, with U.S. appearances in five cities following in April. — Irin Carmon
SOMETHING COOKING: Emeril Lagasse’s food franchises, which include his television programming and expanding cookbook businesses, is set to be acquired by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., but don’t expect a magazine to follow. MSLO chief executive officer Susan Lyne said Tuesday during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call that Lagasse will instead work in some capacity with MSLO’s current roster of magazines, such as the Everyday Food franchise, to build brand awareness. The deal with Lagasse came to fruition through a personal relationship with chairman Charles Koppelman. “Emeril never marketed the company,” said Lyne of the deal, reportedly worth $50 million in cash and stock, adding that he was not in the market to sell.
As for the quarter ending Dec. 31, MSLO revenues were up 22.1 percent to $118.5 million over the same quarter the prior year. Net income more than doubled to $33.3 million. The company reported that fourth-quarter results were mainly driven by royalty revenues from its merchandising relationship with Kmart, which is coming to an end. In publishing, revenues for the quarter jumped 15 percent to $49.4 million, led by strong ad gains at Martha Stewart Living. However, while better, the publishing side remained in the red, with operating losses of $1.1 million, compared with a loss of $2.2 million in 2006. Ad revenues increased 30 percent in the fourth quarter, with pages up 12 percent at Martha Stewart Living, 9 percent at Everyday Food and 8 percent at Body + Soul. Lyne noted that in 2007, Blueprint, which was shuttered in December, had $7 million in revenues. At the start of this year, Martha Stewart Living raised its rate base to 2 million, Everyday Food is now at 900,000 and Body + Soul increased to 550,000. — Amy Wicks
This story first appeared in the February 20, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
MORE REASONS TO ‘TUBE: Marie Claire, Seventeen and Good Housekeeping have launched YouTube-branded channels and more are on the way. Thanks to a deal between Hearst Magazines Digital Media and YouTube that was unveiled Wednesday, 15 Hearst print and online publications, including Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, Cosmopolitan and The Daily Green, will provide lifestyle content online, contests and allow viewers to upload personalized videos. For example, Harper’s Bazaar readers will be able to view the latest on fashion and beauty, and cooking videos will be posted from the editorial staff at Good Housekeeping. A spokesman declined to discuss terms of the deal.
Hearst’s Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Country Living and House Beautiful; Condé Nast’s Domino and Architectural Digest, and Time Inc.’s Real Simple are also involved in a partnership with AOL. These magazine Web sites will provide monthly features for a new AOL domestic hub, called AOL Home. Channels on the Web site will be divided into decorating, entertaining, green, do-it-yourself and organize and cleaning. — A.W.
BOOK DEAL: Stacy Morrison, editor in chief of Redbook, is the latest editor to receive a book deal. After a bidding war between six publishing houses, Simon & Schuster Inc. won the right to publish Morrison’s book, which will be a “prescriptive memoir” about her divorce, called “Falling Apart in One Piece.” “I want to comfort those that are going through the same things,” she said.
Morrison received a six-figure deal, but hasn’t started writing the book. She predicts it will be published in 2009, at the earliest. She added that it will cover the times she has been “wowed and surprised by timing,” such as when her husband said he wanted to leave, while they were raising an eight-month-old son and she was interviewing for the editor in chief job at Redbook. Or the time she found out her house started to flood while interviewing President Bush in the White House (the results from the interview appeared in the November 2004 issue). At this point, she said it’s too early to predict whether she’ll go on a book tour. — A.W.