Entertainment Weekly isn’t going to be weekly much longer. The Meredith brand will move to a new monthly print schedule beginning in August under new editor in chief JD Heyman.
The brand will retain its name, and its last regularly scheduled weekly magazine will be the July 5 issue, which will hit newsstands June 25.
“I just happen to believe that you have to own your legacy and what people love about the brand and what’s attached to it. I don’t want to walk away from a name that’s loved or an audience that loves it,” Heyman told Adweek.
Heyman, who has served as deputy editor of People since 2014, will further invest in EW.com’s digital, social, video and experiential reach.
The magazine’s August issue, themed around Comic-Con, will be the brand’s first monthly edition. EW will publish additional special interest magazines outside the usual monthly cycle and spotlight big entertainment moments in the industry using insights from previous topical magazines that have sold well, like Harry Potter and Star Wars.
“It really is part of the evolutionary change of the brand to meet the needs of the audience,” Heyman said.
Meredith has printed special issues for other titles after deciding to wind down or eliminate its print product, like Coastal Living. Entertainment Weekly subscribers will continue to receive their magazines for the same subscription price, and the newsstand cost will stay at $6.99.
The magazine had a total paid circulation of 1.5 million, according to a six-month average that ended in December last year, as calculated by the Alliance for Audited Media. There were 18.9 million unique visitors to the site in April, the most recent data available, according to Comscore.
The brand will continue posting regular online coverage, including new digital-only covers featuring stars from major movie franchises. It will expand its event coverage and showcase its access to screenings, panels and partnerships, such as the Toronto International Film Festival. The brand will also retain its reach in events and on Sirius radio and continue operating out of LA, where the newsroom moved to last year.
A media buyer, speaking to Adweek on anonymity, said there were many challenges associated with a weekly magazine, especially one covering entertainment. “You’re not getting that reach that you want, and it’s expensive,” the buyer said.
In his role at People, Heyman has overseen new initiatives on AR and VR and fostered relationships with partners like the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes. He began working at People as an associate editor.
He didn’t comment fully on whether there were would be any layoffs as part of the overhaul, but said “there will be changes, there are always changes. And change is hard. I would stress that this is an evolution, not a revolution in terms of what we’re doing.”
Current EW editor in chief Henry Goldblatt, who has been with the company for more than 15 years, is leaving the brand and Meredith to pursue other opportunities, though he hasn’t said what he’ll be doing. In a statement, Bruce Gersh, president of the Meredith Entertainment Group (which includes People, Entertainment Weekly and People en Español), thanked Goldblatt for his service.
“With the vision and experience to produce premium entertainment content, JD is the perfect choice as we reimagine the EW brand for accelerated growth and success,” said Gersh.