During the past several years, Meredith has invested heavily in the food space, acquiring Every Day with Rachael Ray from Reader's Digest Association in 2011 and purchasing Allrecipes.com from RDA in early 2012.
Now, Meredith is placing a bet on the strength of the Allrecipes brand (which includes a database of over one million recipes and attracts more than 1 billion visits annually, according to the company) and the advertising boom in the epicurean set (it was one of the few bright spots in terms of ad pages in the first half of the year) by launching a print extension of the digital destination.
The magazine also seems to be taking a page from the success of Hearst Magazines' success with Food Network and HGTV magazines by trading on an already established media brand name—a strategy sure to minimize its risk.
Meredith said that Allrecipes magazine will publish six times a year, and the first issue—themed around holiday cooking—will come out in mid-November with a rate base of 500,000. The business will be overseen by Tom Witschi, Meredith's evp, women's lifestyle group president, while Every Day with Rachael Ray publisher Christine Guilfoyle will lead Allrecipes' ad sales with a new title of vp, group publisher (her roster also includes the EatingWell brand).
On the content side, recipe.com editorial director Cheryl Brown will be editor in chief. Brown's team will operate out of Meredith headquarters in Des Moines, but plans to "work closely with the Allrecipes.com team in Seattle," the company said.
Meredith began testing Allrecipes magazine this past spring, bundling it as an outsert with other titles like Better Homes and Gardens and Family Circle and promoting it on the web. According to Witschi, the test "exceeded expectations," resulting in about 400,000 paid orders for the new title.
Allrecipes also will get its own television extension as a branded segment on Meredith's syndicated TV program, The Better Show, which is being picked up by the Hallmark Channel in September.