East West magazine to relaunch in September

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East West magazine, a lifestyle glossy devoted to the Asian American perspective, will relaunch in September, following a lengthy hiatus.

The magazine shuttered in April 2008, after four years of publishing, and its Web site has not been updated since. However, according to editor and publisher, Anita Malik, site traffic has grown since the shuttering — which left the magazine's archives searchable — thus encouraging a relaunch. The site will undergo a redesign and resume daily updates on June 8, to be followed by a 20,000-circulation print edition in September.

“Our audience has been there, even though the Web site has been completely untouched, and I felt like we were lucky that people had not forgotten the brand, but after a year we would be pushing our luck,” Malik said. “I think niche print has a home once people calm down. Everyone is scared right now, but good content will prevail. Our audience is completely underserved, whether in a good or bad economic, and it's definitely a growing market.”

The bi-monthly serves mainly Asian Americans, 25-50 years old, but Malik said she is pushing for cross-over appeal. The distribution strategy is yet to be determined, but Malik says she is leaning toward cutting all newsstand distribution and focusing solely on subscriptions — a new strategy for East West.

East West will depend on viral and social marketing to grow its brand and sell subscriptions. Twitter and Facebook have been tapped, and Malik is launching a blog about being a media underdog, Glossy on the Outside, next week.

By 2010, the goal is to transition from a bimonthly to monthly print schedule and expand the reader base to a more mainstream audience.

East West's re-emergence contradicts a recent trend in the magazine world, which has seen other Asian American publications, like AsianWeek, topple alongside multiple mainstream publications. AsianWeek stopped printing in January 2009.

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