Cosmopolitan turns up the heat in Canada

Hearst Corp. has teamed up with Corus Entertainment Inc. to launch a Canadian edition of Cosmopolitan Television.

The 24-hour channel will, like Hearst’s Cosmopolitan magazine, cater to 18 to 34 year old women. It will debut nationwide in Canada in March 2008.

Hearst’s strategy to expand Cosmopolitan TV and its long relationship with Corus Entertainment made Canada a prime target for the next Cosmo channel, said Bruce Paisner, EVP of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication. Paisner also cited Corus’ ownership of the W channel û with a slightly older female demographic û as a tantalizing cross-marketing prospect. The Cosmopolitan channel already tends to attract a slightly more diverse age and gender demographic than the Cosmo magazine.

Cosmopolitan TV will feature a mix of off-network shows, such as Sex and the City, popular movies and reality programming.

“In each country, the programming is produced in that country,” explained Paisner. “We want to make the programming as local and targeted as we can.”

While the content will not directly overlap with the print edition of Cosmopolitan, Paisner speculates that reality shows will feature Cosmopolitan staffers and editorial.

He notes that Spain’s Cosmopolitan TV regularly features the Spanish edition magazine’s editor in chief. However, because Canada only receives the American version of Cosmopolitan (there is no Canadian edition), the logistics of getting staffers to the studio are more complicated.

Hearst first launched Cosmopolitan TV in Spain in March 2000. It has since spread to more than 20 countries, including Mexico and Argentina. The all-English Canadian channel marks Cosmopolitan TV’s first foray outside the Spanish-speaking world.

The company plans to continue its expansion across television and the Internet. Every Cosmopolitan TV channel has its own Web site, and Hearst is in the process of better connecting these sites with the magazine sites. The homepage for the Spanish magazine, for example, features a split screen, giving users a choice of entering the channel or the magazine site.

“If you think of a big country in the world, we’re looking at it – wherever the magazine is strong and where there are a lot of young women in the population,” said Paisner.

The company is also exploring mobile possibilities for information and self-help services.

Corus Entertainment Inc., based in Toronto, is a television and radio company. It specializes in pay television, advertising and digital audio, television broadcasting, children’s book publishing and children’s animation.

Hearst Entertainment and Syndication is a unit of New York-based Hearst Corp. Some of its holdings include stakes in ESPN, A&E Television Networks and Lifetime. Hearst Corporation publishes close to 200 magazines worldwide, including Cosmopolitan and O.

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