A Model Magazine
Everything you've always wanted to know about Cosmopolitan but were afraid to ask.
38 global editions. 100 countries. 24 languages. And that's just one magazine within Hearst Magazines' empire. According to the president of Hearst's international division, George Green, Cosmopolitan is the best-selling women's magazine, and Hearst was the first American company to publish outside U.S. borders.
Those who have perused "Cosmo" understand that it's built a reputation on frank discussion of women's health and beauty issues, under the wings of such notable matriarchs as Helen Gurley Brown and, at present, Kate White, editor and chief. Since its founding, Cosmopolitan has gone from being a small, Rochester, NY-based literary publication to one of Hearst's widely read global commodities.
"We publish in partnership or under license in various countries," Green says. He also explains that, with plans in motion to release two new editions in Italy and Greece starting in March, and Korea and maybe Singapore later in the year, Cosmopolitan has advanced well beyond the frontiers of global publishing; its name is recognized around the world. According to Green, "We have a lot more circulation outside the U.S., rather than in," tallying Argentina at 500,000, Australia at 220,000, China at 250,000 and Hong Kong at 50,000.
Minding the global gap
While many countries favor the magazine's sometimes controversial flavor, every local culture has its unique needs. As a result, Cosmopolitan works independently around the world, with separate production and editorial staffs responsible for editorial and ad content. Green adds, "Once in a while we tend to look at printing contracts to see if there's something we can help [international editions with] in terms of content."
He explains that some countries are relatively conservative, such as in America, where material run in the U.K. couldn't possibly be published in the U.S., "Because they are far more open, far more aggressive, far more specific and graphic [in England]."