A SHOWER OF BAUER: The ink is hardly dry on the first issue of Life & Style Weekly and Bauer Publishing already is looking ahead with two new titles in development for possible 2005 launches at supermarket checkouts near you. One will be a hip-hop-oriented spin-off of teen title J-14. Dodai Stewart, one of J-14’s editors, is in charge of creating the prototype. A Bauer spokeswoman said the project is being handled as a special issue but could turn into something bigger if it sells well.
Less is known about Bauer’s other start-up, which is slated to hit late next year. Samantha Youngman, who defected from Star to Bauer earlier this month, will serve as executive editor under an editor in chief who has yet to be named. A source at Bauer said Laura Gilbert, who is leaving her post as a senior editor at Maxim, also will be part of the team. The details of the new magazine are being kept secret even from Bauer employees.
One thing the new title won’t be is another celebrity weekly, at least if Youngman is true to her word. Sources said that, upon departing American Media, she promised AMI editorial director Bonnie Fuller that the launch would not be a competitor to Star.
Not so for Life & Style Weekly, which will go head-to-head with Star Shop, the new product-oriented quarterly being developed by Star’s creative director, Kelli Delaney. A number of Life & Style staffers are Star veterans, including executive editor Nathan Cooper and senior editor Dan Jewel. Most recently, it poached Star’s research chief and copy chief. But Life & Style has a markedly different tone from either Star or its Bauer-owned rival, In Touch, said Cooper. “We’re really, really not about being mean.”
— Jeff Bercovici
ADIEU BAZAAR: Speculation about the fate of Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni, the Paris-based executive editor and a friend of former Bazaar editor in chief Kate Betts, has raged ever since Glenda Bailey took over. Now it’s finally been decided: Fraser-Cavassoni exited the Hearst-owned title this week. Hearst said Thursday the magazine is restructuring its European coverage by hiring contributing editors in key cities. The title just tapped J.J. Martin as a Milan-based contributing editor, though a Paris equivalent has yet to be named. The question is: Will that person have Fraser-Cavassoni’s Rolodex, which is one of the best in Europe?
— Robert Murphy
EMAP GRABS GRAZIA: Emap, the British publisher that launched the irreverent and ultrasuccessful celebrity weekly Heat, is looking to take another bite out of the women’s magazine market — this time by recruiting a bit of Italian spice. The company has signed a licensing deal with the Italian publisher Mondadori to publish the weekly glossy magazine Grazia in the U.K. The magazine, which will launch in the spring, will be the first weekly women’s glossy in Britain and go head-to-head with all those other weeklies — Hello and OK among them.
The company said Grazia will offer up a mix of “glamour, gossip and style, fashion and life in general.” Emap also plans to pump up the celebrity content, which is practically nonexistent in the Italian Grazia. Emap aims to sell 150,000 copies each week in the first year, and will invest up to $29 million to take the title to break-even. Fiona McIntosh, former editor of U.K. Elle, will be editor in chief while the managing director of the magazine will be David Davies, former editor of the men’s glossy FHM.
The Italian Grazia, which was founded in 1938, may have a loyal following, but it isn’t exactly the trendiest title on the newsstand. Aimed at the masses of Italian working women, it does not have the style or fashion content of Io Donna, Corriere della Sera’s weekly women’s magazine, or D, Repubblica delle Donne, La Repubblica’s weekly magazine.
— Samantha Conti
BLOG SPORT: The total overhaul of Mediabistro.com won’t be unveiled until January, but newly appointed editor in chief Elizabeth Spiers puts her first thumbprint on the site this Monday. The latest blog from the woman who brought us Gawker and The Kicker? Blog TK. “It’s a temporary title,” said Spiers. “We were going to call it ‘This Is Not The Redesign Blog,’ but that was too long.” Of the content, Spiers added: “It’ll be a lot of standard media blogging, to get the readers used to communicating with us and establish our sources. We’ll probably add some gossip.” Commenting on a recent story in the New York Sun that was critical of Spiers’ second-generation successor at Gawker, Jessica Coen, Spiers said, “I think Jessica will be in much better shape after she gets used to it. And what that [Sun] story didn’t mention is that the Gawker traffic is still turning upward. It’s hardly ‘over.’”
— Sara James