Disney to Rebrand FamilyFun

Disney Publishing Worldwide, which has shrunk its magazine properties down to one over the past two years, is rebranding its surviving title FamilyFun to align it with its parent company.

Beginning with its August issue, the magazine will be renamed Disney FamilyFun, continuing an effort in recent years by the entertainment giant to put the Disney name on its various divisions.

Disney also will get a bigger presence in the magazine itself, with the addition of a new section that will tout its deals, projects and programs for families. At the same time, FamilyFun’s publishing unit will change its name to Disney FamilyFun Group.

The 2 million circ magazine also will develop a line of three Disney FamilyFun–branded cookbooks and special-interest publications and move into licensing and custom media.

The magazine name change had been talked about for years, but there was some internal concern that doing so would overcommercialize the magazine, turning off readers, one former Disney Publishing exec said. “It’s a really delicate balance,” the source said of the change.

Aparna Pande, vp, general manager of the FamilyFun Group, said the company surveyed readers before deciding to make the change.

“We spoke to the readers,” she said. “We had a lot of research backing up their interest in this. The core logo will stay the same, so it’ll look familiar but have something extra.”

FamilyFun, while said to be highly profitable, remains a tiny part of the entertainment giant. Carrying the Disney name, it’s hoped, also will elevate its profile at the company and help it cross-sell with other Disney-branded properties.

Disney in 2007 closed Disney Adventures, its magazine aimed at kids ages 6-14. Earlier this year it shuttered Wondertime, a well-regarded parenting magazine with an emphasis on learning.