GOODBYE STUFF, HELLO THINGS: Martha Stewart‘s company may be back in growth mode — it recently reported its first profitable quarter in two years — but that doesn’t mean all of its properties are gaining ground. Kids: Fun Stuff to Do Together, the National Magazine Award-winning parenting title, has been discontinued and replaced by a new publication with a smaller trim size, scaled-back distribution and lower frequency, a spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.
The new magazine, called Good Things for Kids, recently made its debut on newsstands with an issue dated winter 2006. It has a digest-sized format, a decision influenced by the success of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s most recent launch, Everyday Food, said the spokeswoman. One more issue is planned for this year, with no frequency determined yet for 2007. Unlike its quarterly predecessor, which had 212,000 subscribers and a controlled circulation of 53,000, Good Things for Kids will be a newsstand-only title.
Only two positions were eliminated as a result of the transition, said the spokeswoman. Jodi Levine, who, as MSLO’s kids editor, was in charge of the old magazine, will also oversee Good Things for Kids, as well as a new, expanded parenting area on marthastewart.com.
— Jeff Bercovici
EMAP FRANCE ON THE BLOCK: Emap plc, the U.K. publishing giant, has put its French division on the block for an undisclosed price. Emap France publishes 44 titles including TV listings Télé Star and Télé Poche, as well as FHM, Top Sante, Closer and a slew of sports, science and hobby magazines. Emap said in a statement Tuesday the decision to sell came from a review of its “investment priorities,” and that it had generated “significant value” at Emap France since 1994, when it purchased the division. Citigroup and BNP Paribas are acting as financial advisers on behalf of Emap. An Emap spokesman declined further comment on the sale, but sources close to the company say the French division is highly profitable and generating a strong cash flow.
— Samantha Conti
SELFRIDGES GOES POP: How many ways can a magazine brand be spun? The latest permutation is a boutique from Pop magazine, Emap’s twice-yearly fashion title. Called Pop’s Shop, it will be open for a month, starting March 9, at Selfridges in London.
“Pop already sells really well on Selfridges’ newsstand, so the fashionista type is familiar with the brand,” said Alannah Weston, creative director of Selfridges who collaborated with Pop’s editor in chief, Katie Grand, on the boutique. “I’ve always been interested in guerrilla shops,” Weston added. “I love the idea of Pop’s Shop being there for just a month — if you miss it, you miss it.”
The shop will sell one-off, limited-edition pieces commissioned by Grand, such as pink glitter shoes by Miu Miu, bean bags by Giles Deacon, T-shirts by Luella Bartley and bags by Stuart Vevers for Mulberry.
Grand said she thinks the store will have an appeal beyond the magazine’s niche demographic. “I hope we have a completely broad cross section of customers, young, old, fashion types and non [fashion types],” she said.
The shop, located in the Ultra Lounge on the store’s lower ground floor, is part of Selfridges’ Future Punk event, which runs from March 9 through April 3. The Pop boutique will complement punk-related events such as an audience with Malcolm McLaren and live appearances from the New York Dolls and The Blockheads.
As reported, Weston said Selfridges would be focusing on shorter events instead of the store’s annual themed extravaganzas, and said future events would include a Mind, Body and Spirit Lounge and a World Cup Lounge.
— Nina Jones