With fashion and beauty among the few areas showing signs of ad-page life, Redbook is becoming the latest women’s magazine to chase those categories.
Starting with the October issue, featuring a revamp by new editor in chief Jill Herzig, Redbook will usher in more fashion and beauty coverage. She also will increase the health and food pages.
With the redo, the 106-year-old Hearst Magazines monthly also is making another bid for young readers. Redbook has tried to carve out a place for itself between fashion and service magazines as a place for young, married moms. The previous editor Stacy Morrison did her part by adding juicy sex tips coverlines.
But the median female reader age crept up to 48 (older than Real Simple’s 46 and O, the Oprah Magazine’s 45.7) from 44 during her five-year tenure anyway.
Herzig is going in a different direction, toning down the sexy material and trying to appeal to Gen Xers with extensive celebrity content.
“There’s a lot of raunch out there,” said Herzig, who was hired away from Glamour in April. She assured she wasn’t singling out sex bible and corporate sibling Cosmopolitan (median reader age 30.7), though: “I’m not just talking about Cosmo. There are a lot of magazines that serve this stuff up. It didn’t feel as right for the Redbook reader.”
Smaller changes Herzig had made in the issues leading up to October are already helping Redbook win new retail and beauty business (Target fashion, Fekkai), said Mary Morgan, vp, publisher. This year through October, Redbook’s ad pages rose a solid 9.5 percent.
Herzig has her work cut out for her on the newsstand, though; single-copy sales, a closely watched indicator of consumer vitality, plunged 28.8 percent in first-half 2010 to just over 110,000 on a total circ of 2.2 million.
Herzig blamed the fall on what she called an inconsistency in cover style, which she promised would change. She pointed to October’s cover, with the brightly shot actress Lauren Graham, as an example of her own approach. “There wasn’t a coherent cover statement going on,” she said.