MEREDITH MOVES ITS NEW MEDIA TO BRANDS

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Meredith Magazines is nudging new-media activities under individual brands and away from its corporate new-media department.

The company last week named David Cohen, 50, director of new media for Better Homes & Gardens from publisher of Golf for Women, and charged him with marketing BH&G's successful CD-ROM product line.

Meredith has fewer than 10 employees working in new media and has no corporate World Wide Web site, although one is under development.

`MORE OF A BUSINESS'

"I'm not saying new media is making a lot of money for us," said Chris Little, president of Meredith Magazines. "But it is becoming more of a business and less of an experimental and research process for us."

Mr. Little estimated last year Meredith sold "hundreds of thousands of CD-ROMs" based on BH&G brands, priced from $25.99 to $59.99.

Meredith entered one of its first formal alliances last year when it quietly signed with CompuServe to develop an area within the commercial service called Better Homes Kitchens.

Mr. Cohen's task will be to oversee CD-ROM offerings including Complete Guide to Gardening, Great American Cookbook and Healthy Cooking CD Cookbook, as well as two kids titles-Cool Crafts and Dandy Dinosaurs.

AD SUPPORT POSSIBLE

Though the CD-ROMs presently have no ads, the company said deals are in the works that might involve sponsorships and hyperlinks to advertiser Web sites.

Among other Meredith titles, Ladies' Home Journal opens an election Web site in March in conjuction with the League of Women Voters.

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