Hearst’s Food Network Pub Cashes in on Partner TV Network’s Popularity
Take a multi-platform marketing strategy, couple it with a popular cable TV network brand, and you get a hit consumer magazine. Hearst's Food Network magazine announced on July 21 that it would bump up its rate base to 1 million copies, beginning with the January/February 2010 issue, six months ahead of schedule. The pub, which features recipes, tips and behind-the-scenes looks at Food Network shows, achieved its initial 300,000-book rate base for its November/December 2008 test issue three weeks after hitting newsstands. The June/July launch issue hit 400,000 and the upcoming October book will increase to 900,000.
Editor-in-chief Maile Carpenter, named to the post last year before the test book was published, carried over TV/food experience with her from her most recent post as executive editor of Every Day With Rachael Ray. Publishing Executive Inbox talked with Carpenter about how the magazine has succeeded so quickly and the balancing act required to partner with a TV network.
Inbox: What are the three key reasons this title has become such an overnight success?
Maile Carpenter: 1. The incredible strength of the Food Network brand and its cast of food stars. The magazine entered the market with instant credibility, thanks to the brand.
2. The market's need for a new kind of food magazine - one that is accessible, friendly, authoritative and fun, delivered by a trusted source. People are cooking at home now more than ever and the timing was perfect.
3. A strong partnership between Hearst and Food Network. We've been on the same page since day one about how the magazine should represent the network.
Inbox: How are you growing subscription sales and newsstand sales when so many other major titles are floundering?
Carpenter: Research and testing have played a huge role. We have been studying the market for well over a year to put direct mail packages into the right hands and to get the magazine in the right places on the newsstand. And of course editorially we're always looking for ways to stand out on the newsstand with bright, catchy (and tasty!) covers.