Sandow Media upgrades Worth

Sandow Media is relaunching Worth magazine this month, aligning with an extensive redesign and a switch to a more exclusive distribution model.

The lifestyle and personal finance magazine, which Sandow acquired last year, will be direct-mailed to 110,000 high net-worth readers in the top 11 designated market areas (DMAs) in the US. Sandow worked with Acxiom’s Personicx database to build its mailing list of individuals with a minimum net worth of $2 million. It further narrowed down its target by age and whether or not they already read one or more business magazine — prime targets are 30-65 years old and are proven magazine readers.

“Our whole strategy is remarkably different — we’ve realized that we need to get this magazine into the most affluent hands in America,” Patrick Williams, publisher of Worth, said. “We’ve worked extremely hard with Acxiom, which had the highest monetary demographic of all the different data research companies that we spoke to and found people who are likely to be worth $20 or 30 million.

“Adam Sandow’s idea was always to relaunch the publication,” Williams added. “The reason he bought it was he felt that Worth has some great editorial and the concept of the publication is really good, but it hadn’t had much invested in it.  We really felt the vision of Worth had been ignored, and the reader wasn’t sure if it was a trade press publication for the wealth business or for the ultra high net worth individual, so we completely refocused it to be for high net worth individual and changed the look and feel from a trade press look to a beautiful book.”

Copies of the new Worth will be available at select newsstands and at private airports for $18.95. The bimonthly has a guaranteed rate base of 125,000 — up from 103,000 — and will be audited by BPA.

Aside from pricey newsstand sales and national advertising, the new Worth is also earning revenue through special partnerships with wealth managers. The Worth Leading Wealth Advisors program charges an admission fee for advisors to write advice columns for the magazine.

The Worth Web site will launch June 1. It will offer content as well as venues for readers to interact with the magazine staff and give feedback.

“Reader engagement is the biggest goal,” Williams said.

By the second half of 2010, plans are for the magazine to have expanded from the top 11 DMAs into the top 17. Eventually, the magazine should be distributed in the top 25 DMAs to a rate base of around 250,000. More than that, though, would ruin the “velvet rope” experience of Worth, Williams said.

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