Hachette Filipacchi Magazines is close to a deal with Paxson Communications Corp. to create a daily TV show for the planned Pax Net that would draw content from several of the publishing group's titles.
The show, a half-hour or hourlong weekday strip, would likely carry the Elle name in its title, but would feature segments based on ideas generated by Metropolitan Home, Eating Well and Woman's Day as well.
The mix of features from those titles would complement Paxson's plan to create a broadcast network with wholesome, female- and family-oriented programming. Already, Chairman-CEO Lowell "Bud" Paxson has acquired syndication rights for "Touched by an Angel," "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," "Diagnosis Murder," "Barnaby Jones," "The Father Dowling Mysteries" and "Dave's World."
BERMAN HEADS PROJECT
Michael Berman, president of Hachette Filipacchi Productions, is heading up the project. A deal covering 26 weeks of shows is expected to be signed in the coming weeks. A search is under way for a host or hostess for the show.
Current talks would give Hachette approximately half the advertising inventory to sell, with the emphasis on national sales; Paxson would concentrate on selling in local markets.
Pax Net is set to debut Aug. 31, reaching 72 million households, including all top 20 markets and 42 of the top 50.
NEW REVENUE STREAMS
For some time, Hachette Filipacchi President-CEO David Pecker has voiced concerns about finding new revenue streams so that the organization is not totally dependent on the traditional revenue from magazine subscribers, newsstand sales and print advertising.
This is Hachette's most aggressive push in TV, although it has reached into other media with its content, including early commitments to custom publishing, online (as one of the first to strike a companywide deal with America Online), earlier ventures with cable's CNN and Tele-Communications Inc. (that have since dissolved) and even a documentary film on clothing designer Isaac Mizrahi titled "Unzipped" that was commercially released.
Copyright March 1998, Crain Communications Inc.