In Hearst's limited but highly successful tradition of partnering with TV brands to create new magazines, the publishing giant has announced a new collaboration with HGTV on a magazine title set to test launch in the fall.
HGTV Magazine, which will be led editorially by former Coastal Living Editor Sara Peterson, will feature content and personalities from the popular home-and-lifestyle network and focus on real estate, home decorating and renovation, as well as entertaining and food. Its test issue will hit shelves nationwide in October, with a second test issue following in January 2012.
The launch will follow the monumental success of Food Network Magazine, which Ad Age named to its Magazine A-List last fall after its ascent to the top of the food category in terms of newsstand sales. It was Hearst's first partnership with Scripps Networks, which owns both Food Network and HGTV. A year after Food Network Magazine introduced its test issue in October 2008, it hit 1 million in circulation. By the second half of last year, it was averaging paid and verified circulation of 1.37 million, according to its report with the Audit Bureau of Circulations. It was nominated for a National Magazine Award for general excellence last year.
Hearst also publishes O, The Oprah Magazine, another venture capitalizing on a big TV brand. That title celebrated its 10-year anniversary last year.
Big consumer-magazine launches, however, have become less common as the recession and rising digital media troubled many publishers. Clearly Hearst hopes its new HGTV branded publication will find the same cross-platform success of its predecessors, and if it follows the same launch model of testing and gauging consumer feedback, the partnership could very well thrive. "Hearst is known for its successful partnerships, and HGTV's enormous fan base and rich lifestyle content dovetails well with our expertise at delivering entertaining and compelling content," Hearst Magazines President David Carey said in a statement.
The effort has been percolating for some time, with occasional reports that it was in the works.