Readers’ wants lead to Bonnier revamp

Outdoor Life, Bonnier Corp.’s hunting and fishing title, has redesigned its print and Web properties to improve audience engagement and better meet demands for in-depth print reporting.

The redesign, a year in the making, features four new front-of-the-book sections — hunting, fishing, shooting and gear — and an increase in photography and graphics. has now incorporated social media capabilities, which allow readers to create profiles, upload pictures and participate in discussions.

“It was serendipitous that, as the whole business world came to a screeching halt, we were able to roll out something brand new,” said Todd Smith, editor in chief of Outdoor Life. “As people are cutting back, we’re actually going the other way and reinvesting and hoping to be in a much better place when this market turns around.

“We’re giving our readers our core audience more of what they really come to us for,” he added. “By creating these sections they now have plenty of room to go in-depth.”

The redesign and online additions are not an attempt to target a new audience, Smith said. Outdoor Life readers are primarily male, with a median age of 47 and household income a little over $50,000, and Smith reported that these readers have been very loyal over time.

Outdoor Life has a rate base of 925,000, on which it was delivering 949,183 total paid and verified copies as of June 30. Total paid and verified circulation for the magazine has grown steadily since hitting a low of 829,960 in 2006.

Bonnier promoted the new look, which debuted in the February issue, with online messaging.

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