GOING UP A SIZE: Elle Magazine is getting a new look. The Hearst-owned magazine is adding an inch to its trim size, beginning with the March issue, making it as large as sister fashion publication Harper’s Bazaar.
According to editor in chief Robbie Myers, the added heft is a call back to the magazine’s earlier years when it was larger in size. Currently, Elle’s trim size is 8 inches by 10 7/8 inches. It will increase to 9 inches by 10 7/8 inches.
“We’re blowing up. We’re bigger, we’re bolder,” Myers told WWD. “It’s a statement not only about the company investing in Elle, but also really a statement about our luxury footprint. Fashion is a visual medium. Magazines are certainly a visual medium. That is what we do. The editors are really excited that there will be more words, too.”
She offered: “I don’t think there’s an editor around who’s not agitating for more, more, more in digital or print. You want as much as you possibly can get.”
Although Myers acknowledged that the magazine industry is down overall, she contended the size increase will be a boon for newsstand sales — which are struggling at all magazines — as the bigger size, coupled with the clean Elle logo, is an eye-catching “statement.”
Elle, which is marking its 30th anniversary in the U.S. this year, has held its own, and even grabbed some share in a pressured industry that is watching advertising pages evaporate. In September, the magazine logged 468.62 ad pages, up four pages over last year, according to Publishers Information Bureau data obtained by WWD.
While that may not seem like a lot, it is a larger gain than rival Harper’s Bazaar, which was up one page to 445.64 pages. Vogue still had the highest ad-page count in September at 614.53, but it lost about 16 pages over last year. (It should be noted, though, that Vogue-parent Condé Nast typically charges higher rates for pages than Hearst.) Time Inc.’s InStyle, which did not have a full-time publisher at the time, lost 35.2 percent of its ad pages, or 171.6 pages, in September, amounting to 315.56 for the month. The magazine hired Patrick Connors as publisher in late August from Men’s Fitness).
Still, Elle, like its rivals, is behind over last year. From the January to September period, the glossy has logged 1,633.98 ad pages, down 140 pages. According to the Alliance for Audited Media, Elle’s total paid and verified circulation fell 2.3 percent to 1.1 million, as total single-copy sales dipped 32.4 percent to 110,725.