Corner Office: Painting a New Picture
My philosophy on redesigns is, people who like something don't like to see change. So the intent of the redesign is to be largely not that noticeable. We've already made some changes in terms of subject matter covered. For example, on the cover we talk about contemporary issues such as: the wealth gap, health stories, adult ADD, technology.
Who's your demographic?
We have a circulation of 350,000 loyal readers. We have the freshness to draw in a slightly younger readership [current average is 56]. We're not going to get 20 year olds but we want 40-45 year olds. That said, I will also jealously protect the interests of our current readers, whatever their ages. This isn't about abandoning older readers, but about expanding the demo while keeping current loyal readers. My point is that, by making the magazine more contemporary, more relevant, it will naturally open up the demo.
Any other changes in store?
We have some interesting financials. Everyone talks about the three legs of the stool—circulation, newsstand and advertising sales—we have a fourth leg. We own the copyright to everything published in the magazine for years: all the art, the covers. That's thirteen million dollars a year in retail licensing: t-shirts, mugs, etc. We're also expanding into the Asian market. They're getting excited about Rockwell. There are new 3D tablets coming out—we've licensed some content to the leading software maker for that. [A new partnership with SD Entertainment, an LA-based animation and 3D production studio, was announced in late November.]
Our circulation is solid, but newsstand is really hurting. We partnered with a national sales firm (James G. Elliott Co. Inc.), and are cautiously expanding that area, trying to widen the brand inch by inch. We're looking particularly at SIPs and buying some placements. Now we have a team: marketing, research, sales offices in five cities. Ad pages are up 10 pages for November/December.