Food Network Magazine to launch, raise circ

Food Network Magazine will increase its rate base to 900,000 this October, following an official launch at a rate base of 400,000 in June.

The Hearst title ran two test issues last October and in January, with rate bases of 300,000 and 400,000 copies, respectively. A multiplatform marketing campaign that included direct mail, e-mail and TV spots on the Food Network led to a 70% sell-through of the first test issue, encouraging an official launch. Four more issues of the bimonthly are planned for 2009, and another rate base increase, to 1.1 million, is scheduled for August 2010.

“The response we’ve gotten from subscription offers and what we’ve seen on the newsstand is that more people than ever want to read this magazine,” said Alec Casey, VP of consumer marketing for Hearst Magazines. “It goes back to the whole trend of people doing more entertaining at home and cooking becoming a viable entertainment option. The Food Network and Food Network Magazine play right to that, and I think the magazine just happened to time it right.”

For its subscription marketing campaign, Food Network Magazine targeted Food Network viewers and people with subscriptions to other cooking magazines, a majority of whom are women.

“They look a lot like the Food Network [demographically and psychographically], not surprisingly, which is a nice place,” Casey said. “They are well-educated and relatively affluent, and they are cooks. They use this magazine to cook — something like 60% of people actually made recipes from the January issue of the magazine.”

Marketing efforts for the first official issue will follow the patterns set for test issues: Direct mail campaigns went out in January and March, and another is planned for June. TV spots will continue to run on the Food Network, and subscriptions will be available online at The upcoming issue also will be featured in more checkout pockets as part of an aggressive newsstand promotion strategy. Newsstand sales make up about 25% of the magazine’s total circulation.

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