Despite last month’s executive shakeup, Reader’s Digest Association is pushing ahead with plans to introduce a new MasterChef magazine next week, the New York Post’s Keith Kelly reports. The new title will be launched under a licensing deal between RDA-owned Taste of Home and the producers of the Fox show “MasterChef,” the Shine Group and Reveille. 700,000 copies will be distributed to newsstands on Tuesday.
Catherine Cassidy, the Taste of Home group’s editor in chief, said that talks have been underway since late last year. With a circulation of 3.2 million, Taste of Home is the largest circulation food magazine in the country, and generates about $200 million in revenue. The magazine only began accepting ads in 2007 and is mostly circulation-supported.
The “MasterChef” deal is the first that Taste of Home has struck with a television show. TV tie-ins have become a popular (and profitable) way to spin off new food titles: RDA already found a winner in Every Day with Rachael Ray, and Hearst’s Food Network Magazine was its most successful launch since O, the Oprah Magazine. RDA and Taste of Home beat out media rivals including Rodale and Meredith for MasterChef, according to Kelly.