HEARST TRIES TO TREND: At a time when most publishers are shying from new print products, Hearst is readying to launch another one. Called TrendingNY, the newspaper-magazine hybrid is a free weekly publication that will be distributed Sept. 8 through Sept. 30. This translates into four issues, distributed from Monday through Wednesday of each week. Each issue will have a print run of 50,000 copies and be handed out in the New York metro area, including key neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens. The paper, which will focus on New York–centric cultural events, restaurants and what’s in stores — all that week — is edited by Emily Cronin, a former acting features editor at Harper’s Bazaar U.S. and Elle U.K.

This story first appeared in the August 20, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“Trending will target Millennial women and have a predominantly fashion and beauty focus,” said Michael Clinton, president, marketing and publishing director of Hearst Magazines. “It’s about what’s happening now.”

The weekly will be tested next month, and if it does well, Hearst will make it a regular occurrence, Clinton said, without going into details about its future frequency. How Clinton defines “well” will be linked to reader feedback via social media such as Twitter and Facebook. It’s a similar distribution and feedback model to Marie Claire’s Branché, a pop-up magazine that Hearst launched in March.

The pilot issue of TrendingNY will be 48 pages and carry roughly 18 to 20 ads from retailers including Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Banana Republic, Emporio Armani and L’Oréal Paris.

According to Ellen Levine, editorial director of Hearst Magazines, contributors to the magazine will include Erica Domesek, founder of blog P.S. I Made This, and Aliza Licht, senior vice president of global communications at Donna Karan New York. Domesek will write about do-it-yourself projects, while Licht will provide career insight. Other contributors will include freelancers. Designed by Priest + Grace, TrendingNY will include photography from in-house staff at Cosmopolitan and Esquire.

“There will also be a Q&A every issue with a hot star,” said Levine, who declined to give further details on which celebrities will be featured on the four covers.

“It’s meant to be a short, easy read,” said Levine, who emphasized that the magazine is published via advertising sponsorship, and that those advertisers are not paying for their products to be featured.

Acknowledging free publications like Metro and AM New York, Clinton said, “What we like about this is that it’s a hybrid. There’s an immediacy to it, and it plugs into a new approach in fashion and beauty. No one has done it in this space.”

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