Best Life Magazine Finds a Second Life as a Digital Brand

Original editor Dave Zinczenko is behind the revival

From Metropolitan Home to Newsweek, we've seen a number of shuttered magazine titles revived (at least in some form) over the past couple of years. Now Best Life, the luxury men's service magazine, is getting a second life online—and with its original launch editor at the helm, no less.

Best Life made its original debut back in 2004, a higher-end extension of Rodale's Men's Health, which was led by the company's star editor Dave Zinczenko. In 2009, however, the magazine stopped regular publication in the wake of the previous year's financial crisis, and in 2012, Zinczenko left Rodale.

But Zinczenko went on to launch his own company, Galvanized, and has spent the past several years overseeing a relaunch of AMI's Men's Fitness and rebuilding his popular Eat This, Not That franchise (which he had acquired from Rodale), felt that there was still an audience for Best Life.

"I was always talking it up and lamenting with others when it went on hiatus," he recalled. "It was built to serve a giant void that existed in the men's market, and now, more than a decade later, that void is even more evident."

After hearing that another company had purchased the dormant Best Life brand from Rodale, Zinczenko reached out to the new owners and voiced his interest in helping to revive it. Eventually, he ended up acquiring the title, and built an editorial team to relaunch it as a digital brand, BestLifeOnline.com.

Of course, men's lifestyle sites are a dime a dozen, but according to Zinczenko, it's Best Life's target audience that sets it apart. "Best Life is targeting a more mature audience—really my generation, which is Generation X—which has been completely ignored, but are entering the prime of their lives in terms of career and family," he said. "This is about service over entertainment."

The new Best Life covers topics like charity, careers, fatherhood, marriage, style and finance, mostly in list form (think "40 Things You Should Do in Your 40s," "6 Great Personal Finance Apps for 2016," "15 Flashworthy New Wallets"), although as the site matures, Zinczenko plans to lessen the focus on lists and expand into areas like investigative journalism and fiction. By next spring, Best Life could start rolling out products like ebooks, apps and digital subscriptions—and, eventually, maybe even a print magazine.

On the advertiser side, Zinczenko hopes that Best Life's focus on more mature, career-minded readers will help attract the kinds of luxury brands that were a mainstay in the original magazine's heyday. The site has signed Tiffany & Co. as its exclusive launch partner, and will be running display ads as well as native articles and branded videos from the jewelry company through the end of this year.