The Atlantic, whose website has been a significant driver of the brand’s growth , is pushing it forward with a new Health channel. Launching today, the section will cover mind, body, food, sex, family, and public health. It replaces the Life channel, which encompassed health as well as food, design, and sustainability coverage.
Bob Cohn, editorial director of Atlantic Digital, said the Atlantic decided to launch a dedicated health channel after seeing that subject rise in popularity on the site. Having a health channel also gives the Atlantic a way to provide more service content, a big source of potential traffic.
“We’re going from health being a subset of the Life channel to realizing it is a subject of huge interest to readers and where there are things happening [that] we should be on top of,” Cohn said. “It’s a mix of news and at the center of news and personal service, which is a good place to be on the Web.”
The Health channel continues the Atlantic’s strategy of moving beyond its politics and ideas roots with technology, entertainment, and other channels online. The magazine has also introduced two digital offshoots: The Atlantic Wire, a news and opinion aggregator; and Atlantic Cities, a site focused on urban issues. Cohn said other projects were in the works for 2012, but he declined to be specific.
The strategy seems to be paying off : Year to date through October, the Atlantic’s digital ad sales grew 37 percent. In October, for the first time in the magazine’s history, digital ad revenue accounted for more than half its overall ad revenue.
The Health channel is being edited by Nicholas Jackson, who had been overseeing the Life channel. As for other content areas that had fallen under Life, food becomes part of the Health channel. Design coverage is now part of the Entertainment channel and sustainability will be covered by the Technology and Business channels.