Meredith turns social site into magazine

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Meredith is launching a new magazine, Mixing Bowl, as an extension of its nascent social media site of the same name.

MixingBowl.com, an online community focused on cooking and other food topics, soft-launched in February with invites to known online “mavens” in the space. The site, part of The Meredith Women's Network, now has 19,000 registered members and expects 180,000 unique visitors this month. It is inviting more members daily. The magazine, released Tuesday, has an initial distribution of 260,000 — all newsstand — indicating a push for an even wider audience than the site.

“The experience that people have in Mixing Bowl is one we realized could be extended very robustly in print as well because we could bring in the personalities that are emerging in MixingBowl.com but we could also reach out to a broader audience,” said Jeff Myers, VP and general manager of Meredith Special Interest Media. “Mixing Bowl really is the product of a community, and this allows us to further develop that community because it's rewarding and celebrating the people in the community and increasing their own sense of ownership,”

Editorial in the magazine either comes straight from the site (as user-contributed recipes, for example) or focuses on members in other ways, like profiles and interviews. Myers noted that the audience on MixingBowl.com is younger than that of many other food magazines, and he expects the user-centric content of the magazine to engage the same young audience in print.

Word of mouth from site members will play a large role in promoting the magazine, but Meredith will also use its more traditional marketing channels, like e-mail and its other Web sites, to target foodie consumers. Mixing Bowl is also connected to consumers through Twitter and Facebook.

The second issue of Mixing Bowl magazine is slated for January. Myers said the company would decide on a set frequency sometime this Fall. A mobile component is also in the works.

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