New Accents for Time Inc.’s Southern Living

Having shut down two shelter books in the past year, Time Inc. is focusing attention on its biggest remaining publication in that category: Southern Living.

The 2.8 million-circ title is making another effort to grow its younger readership with a slew of new features in its October issue aimed at the busy, health-conscious woman.

The major editorial revamp is only the second such effort in the magazine’s 43 years. The last similar push, in 2008 under former editor, John Floyd, put a greater emphasis on health and beauty content.

Since then, the female reader median age declined to 50.5 from 52 in 2007, per Mediamark Research & Intelligence. Still, the title’s current editor Eleanor Griffin said she’d like to get that age down into the mid-40s.

“We’re finally able to speak to a younger reader who used to say, ‘I’ll get Southern Living some day,'” Griffin said. “My goal is to get her now.”

The redesign dovetails with a sales partnership Southern Living struck with Southeastern broadcaster and newspaper publisher Media General. Southern Living is airing a branded segment in Media General’s syndicated lifestyle show, Daytime TV, into which it’s selling product placements.

EBay, Domino Sugar, Coldwater Creek, Bertolli and Breyer’s are among advertisers who have committed to the segments.

While ad pages for Southern Living are down 15.5 percent to 826 this year through October, publisher Rich Smyth predicts that the fourth quarter will be up 12- to 14-percent, helped by print pages tied to the TV segment buys.

“It gives us the opportunity to go to the travel category or the food category and give the advertiser additional exposure,” Smyth said. “These are not asks anymore. These are demands for the marketplace.”