Where’d DC Style’s Summer Issue Go?

Cancelled, that’s where.

The spokesperson for the magazine tells FishbowlDC that it’s got nothing to do with weak sales, poor ad revenue, etc., etc. Instead, she maintained that it was largely due to the fact that things get slower in the summer and that they have (and are) investing a lot of money in their website (full press release — “WASHINGTON’S HOT WEB SITE CREATES VIRTUAL BUZZ: DCStyleMag.com To Become Profitable” — about that after the jump).

We’ll let you make up your own mind about that.

Washington Business Journal recently took a look at the new glossies (Capitol File, DC Style and DC Magazine) and declared, “Well, they’re still glossy and pretty. But not as fat as before. And in the publishing business, that is not a good thing. Page counts have dropped at two out of three, but the mood at each of the three D.C. offices is still upbeat.”


WASHINGTON’S HOT WEB SITE CREATES VIRTUAL BUZZ
DCStyleMag.com To Become Profitable

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 26, 2006 – DC STYLE’s DCStyleMag.com is making waves on the Web by breaking the typical regional magazine Web site mold — that of billboard for the parent print publication — to become a distinct entity, rife with original and constantly updated content, which has developed its own community. Consequently, it is close to being something even rarer: profitable, according to Folio:, the prestigious publishing industry trade magazine that feature DCStyleMag.com’s success in its July issue.

“By providing sticky content and delivering a compelling user experience, we can reach the right audience for advertisers’ targeted messages, making DCStyleMag.com a very attractive buy,” says Dana Spain-Smith, the COO of DLG Media Holdings, LLC which publishes DC STYLE and Philadelphia STYLE. “We anticipate the site will turn a profit by 2007.”

A record-setting increase in page views, with 200,000 in June and an equally impressive growth in unique visitors to 15,000 for the same period has been generated by such recent initiatives as: daily blogs by DC STYLE editorial staff highlighting what is hot and happening on the D.C. landscape; the institution of “Sound Check,” a blog giving readers a backstage pass to the area’s music scene, as well as access to mp3s and podcasts; a readers’ poll to determine D.C.’s ten hottest chefs; the launch of Kelly Ann Collins’ sassy weekly gossip round-up; and the posting of clever “Guy Tips” by BeBetterGuys.com. Add visually arresting graphics and user-friendly functionality, along with daily updated events, listings, profiles and ongoing sweepstakes, and the formula for DCStyleMag.com as an appealing virtual environment which attracts regular visitors emerges.
That environment is the result of an approximately $32,000 re-design by the Philadelphia-based O3 World LLC, which DLG media charged with transforming the original site — typical place-holder, serving as a teaser for the magazine — into a dynamic standalone entity. Keith Scandone, the account manager of DCStyleMag.com and a partner in O3 World, is proud of having laid the foundation for gaining traction online, which will enable DLG Media to create multi-layered campaigns that can be fueled online, but supported through the print magazine and events. He is also grateful for the opportunity DLG presented his firm with to refine the model for a site that would be potent enough to fulfill its mission of attracting its own community.
“A lot of trial and error was involved, which Dana gave us the freedom to do. There was a lot of tinkering with an on-the-job learning curve to build out the back end in a manner that would fulfill the promise of the template. Consequently, and because we are ongoing partners with DLG in charge of site management and sales, we were able to offer special price considerations.”
While the tinkering may be over, neither Spain-Smith nor Scandone feel the site has reached its full potential. “To take full advantage of the site and continue to intrigue current users and attract new ones, we always have to look ahead to the next big thing in Web trends and technology,” asserts Spain-Smith. “We continually strive to present an even better user experience. Podcasting may be fun, but behind-the-scenes streaming video component that shows how fashion shoots really are done and what it’s like to be at a celebrity studded event is even more fun. It adds a ‘wow’ factor.”

“And then you have to leverage the site by taking full advantage of it. We are therefore expanding our online sales staff and bringing on a director of online business development, who will create regional and national campaigns that will add to STYLE’s audience, add to STYLE’s brand and add quite a bit to STYLE’s revenue stream.”
Meanwhile, Scandone and the O3 World team worked with Spain-Smith and DLG Media editor-in-chief Sarah Schaffer to launch DLG’S latest adventure, ACConfidential.com, in late May. Based on the DCStyleMag.com model, the site has rapidly become the go-to resource for information about what’s going on in Atlantic City and its Jersey Shore environs. Spain-Smith predicts the new site will be profitable by the end of the year.

Scandone, Spain-Smith and Schaffer are also intent on putting PhillyStyleMag.com on the path to profitability with a re-design that will even out pace DLG Media’s other sites.

“As we near the fall re-launch of Philadelphia STYLE’s site, we are on the cusp of creating a network that is far more advanced than publishing industry standards, a network that will give STYLE the ability to offer more balanced and interactive offerings than that of their competitors. It will provide a 24/7 lifestyle and entertainment source for consumers to feed off of and advertisers to benefit from,” enthuses Scandone.

“Bottom line is that PhillyStyleMag.com will represent the most state-of-the-art functionality of any regional publication in the country,” notes Spain-Smith.

DLG Media Holdings, LLC, is a Philadelphia-based publisher of city-centric fashion, home and lifestyle-oriented magazines and Web sites. DLG Media’s two current titles, Philadelphia STYLE and DC STYLE — and their companion sites, as well as ACConfidential.com — are committed to enhancing the quality of life in their communities and the lives of their readers by promoting the best those communities have to offer. The magazines’ and Web sites’ positive editorial content and bold visuals celebrate the people, places and events that define the unique characters of the Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Atlantic City areas and what makes them a great place to live, work and play.

For more information about Philadelphia STYLE or DC STYLE and what is going on now in Philly, DC and Atlantic City, visit www.phillystylemag.com, www.dcstylemag.com and www.acconfidential.com.