OUT OF SYNC: It’s a buyer’s market for shopping magazines. According to sources, Ziff Davis Media is looking to unload Sync, its two-year-old title for gadget-loving men. Condé Nast Publications (parent of WWD) and Hachette Filipacchi Media are among the companies that have been approached. Although newsstand sales have been climbing, a source with knowledge of the talks said Willis Stein & Partners, which owns Ziff Davis, is expecting to sell the company next year and is trying to improve its balance sheet by eliminating any money-losing properties. According to several sources in the men’s market, should the effort to sell Sync fail, Ziff Davis will most likely fold it. A spokesman for Ziff Davis did not reply to a request for comment.
— Jeff Bercovici
NOTES FROM THE NET: Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massanet is set to launch a fashion magazine on the back of her London-based, online designer boutique. Massanet sees Net-a-Porter Notes, which will launch the first week in January, as the hard copy companion to her Web site — meaning it’s a shopping magazine with the sales infrastructure already built in.
Indeed, everything spread across the pages of Notes is available on the site. “You can shop straight from the pages,” said Massanet, adding the magazine is for women who love fashion and take it very, very seriously.
Creative director Robin Harvey, formerly of German Vogue and Condé Nast Traveler, designed the twice-yearly magazine, which looks like an expensive notebook with a simple black cover. Inside, there are fashion shoots and features, advice on how to wear the season’s trends and Net-a-Porter’s top clothing and accessories picks for the season.
Massanet also sets aside space for readers’ own notes and comments, and gives them the opportunity to pick their own looks, and create mood boards from a perforated index of photos at the back. The magazine stems from Net-a-Porter’s regular, online editorial reports that draw 500,000 readers each month, and will be sold exclusively on the site for 10 pounds, or $17, plus postage and shipping.
“We’re admitting here that fashion is a commodity — and it’s big business. This magazine is about giving women the tools to shop and driving that business,” Massanet said.
— Samantha Conti
SPEAKERS OF THE HOUSE: HarperCollins has something to say — or rather, it thinks its authors do.
The publishing house is launching its own speakers bureau, HarperCollins Speakers, so corporate clients and other organizations can book its authors for speaking engagements. Under director Gary Reznik, the service will handle all contract negotiations and travel arrangements. A search for “Motivation and Self-Help” on its Web site, Harpercollinsspeakers.com, turned up Gloria Estefan, nine-time World Series of Poker champion Phil Hellmuth Jr., Tatum O’Neal and Kimora Lee Simmons, whom the site generously refers to as a “media mogul.”
— Sara James