In Circulation: New magazines fill a niche — or two

Judging from recent headlines, now is not a good time to be in the print industry:

Gannett is slashing jobs, Cox is selling off papers, and even Condé Nast powerhouse Vogue is showing an ad page loss for its big September issue.

For every loss posted, however, new ground is broken elsewhere. Publishers from niche companies such as Cult Fiction to established veterans such as Readers Digest Association (RDA) show that they still have faith in the industry with a flurry of new magazine launches — many aimed at well-defined but often ignored audiences.

RDA is planning to soft-launch two new titles, Best You and Fresh Home, on newsstands this fall. Best You will be an upscale health title; while Fresh Home will focus on DIY home projects, with young, crafty couples as a projected target audience.

Culture Shock, published by Cult Fiction, is making its debut in January with a projected rate base of 30,000. Ralph Janus, publisher of Culture Shock, thinks the bi-monthly glossy will find success by trading off the popularity of sister magazine The Horse and by tapping an underserved audience of counterculture aficionados. Janus noted, “Hopefully, it will capture their interests because the magazines that usually target that age group are not edgy.”

McGraw-Hill Construction and BusinessWeek will launch HQ: Good Design is Good Business magazine in November. The quarterly, with a rate base of 65,000-85,000, was created to help C-suite decision makers, architects and designers create more efficient and ecologically-sound offices. Such specialized information, execs say, is in high-demand.

Boho, a fashion and lifestyle glossy for eco-conscious women, launched just last week on August 12. Founder and editor-in-chief Gina La Morte explained, “The timing is perfect because people both need and desire to do good things and give back and help the environment. They want to make changes in their own environments and their everyday experiences, but still want to read a magazine.”

And Envy, as you can see in today’s newsletter, will expand to a new city with a rate base of 50,000 in Austin. Just as with many of these other launches, the appeal lies in the promise of an underserved — but strong — audience niche, ready to engage with the specialized information a title has to offer

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