Delta's Sky redesigns, extends reach

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Sky magazine, the in-flight title from Delta, has tapped a new publisher, redesigned and started limited newsstand distribution.

MSP Communications, which has taken over publishing duties from Pace Communications, was tapped by Delta in December 2008, but its first version of the 5.2-million-circ magazine is the April issue. Pace held the Sky account for more than a decade. MSP has redesigned the magazine and site.

“Just for starters, it is less of an in-flight magazine and more of an onboard lifestyle magazine, which is also being sold on newsstands,” said Liz Doyle, assistant editor of Sky, about the redesign. “It's dealing with business trends, lifestyle trends, celebrities, movies, music, fashion, just the whole gamut. One thing that I feel Delta was looking for was a new way to push the envelope and make Sky something that people want to read.”

With the new look, Sky also will be debuting a new distribution model: 15,000 copies of the magazine will be available on newsstands each month. The copies, $3.99 a piece, will appear at around 2,500 spots around the country, including Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores.

The newsstand launch is part of an effort to increase the magazine's circulation and boost its clout with advertisers.

A digital version of the magazine also is available for free online, where readers are urged to sign up for a free digital subscription. In addition, the April issue marks the first time since Delta's merger with Northwest that Sky will be available to customers on all Delta- and Northwest-operated flights.

Blogs, a flashy Web site and a new Twitter account are all being used to boost brand recognition for the magazine.  

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