Hearst Magazines will roll out its newest title, Dr. Oz, The Good Life, Feb. 4. With 800,000 copies being distributed, including 375,000 copies on newsstands for $3.99 and another 425,000 going to subscribers of other Hearst titles, The Good Life could well be the biggest consumer magazine launch this year.
With The Good Life, Hearst hopes to replicate the stratospheric rise of its other mass, celebrity-based titles. Food Network Magazine rose to a circulation of 1.7 million from a launch distribution of 300,000, while HGTV Magazine grew to 1.1 million from 350,000 at launch. With celebrity-based magazines, there's no guarantee the allure will last, though, as Hearst well knows; O, the Oprah Magazine, while still one of its biggest titles with a 2.4 million circulation, has struggled on the newsstand lately.
For now, Hearst is banking on the star power of the telegenic heart surgeon to establish the magazine, though. Oz will appear on the cover of the first several issues of the magazine and throughout. He'll write front-of-book letters to the reader, a page introducing the issue’s contributors, a food column and a back page essay. “I’ll do what needs to be done to help the magazine appeal to people," Oz told Adweek. "If I need to be on every cover, I will be.” He also weighed in on the color of the pilot's cover, a deliberately gender-neutral blue. “I always felt strongly that we treat women too delicately, and putting a little testosterone in the message makes them feel more confident,” he said. “Adding some maleness has always helped on the show.” While he's only expected to visit the magazine’s Hearst offices every two to three weeks, his wife, Lisa Oz, who is serving as editor at large, will be a more regular presence. “Oz has a strong editorial perspective on what’s important to know, but isn’t as detail-oriented,” said editor in chief Alison Brower.
As the name implies, the magazine's pilot will have a good dose of health content, including Oz-approved recipes, holistic remedies and diet tips. For maximum reader and advertiser appeal, though, Hearst is positioning The Good Life as a healthy lifestyle magazine. That means beauty, relationship and even personal finance content. The broad editorial mandate appears to have helped with advertisers; vp, publisher and chief revenue officer Kristine Welker secured ads from every category for the first issue, including automotive (Mazda), beauty (Garnier, Algenist), food (Campbell’s, Oscar Meyer) and pharmaceutical and supplements (Tylenol, GNC). The Good Life won’t accept advertisers that Welker or its editorial team deem off-message, like certain weight-loss drugs.
A second test issue will hit newsstands on April 15.