Rodale’s ‘Best Life’ Making Comeback

Lifestyle title published from 2004 to 2009

It’s the season for reviving defunct brands. Health and fitness publisher Rodale is bringing back Best Life, the high-end men’s lifestyle magazine that it folded in 2009, Adweek has learned.

With well-rounded editorial and big-name contributors like David Mamet and Jay McInerney, Best Life was popular with readers and advertisers, carrying brands like brands like Lexus, Charles Schwab and Yves Saint Laurent. However, it became a victim of its newness (it had only launched five years before) and the luxury ad market, which took a dive in the recession.

Rodale kept the name alive in the form of a front-of-book section in Men’s Health called The Best Life, though, and people who were key to the original magazine are still around, including the editor, Stephen Perrine; and David Zinczenko, gm for Rodale's Healthy Living Group evp and book division. Zinczenko will oversee the revival as editorial director. Perrine will resume his role as editor (while keeping his role as publisher of Rodale Books), and John Mather will be creative director. 

Rodale is the latest in a string of publishers taking advantage of the resurgence in luxury advertising by launching new or bringing back defunct brands that folded due to a lack of ad support but which had a strong reader following. In the latter category, Condé Nast revived Domino as a newsstand publication and Gourmet as an app and special-edition magazines. They join a rash of new titles aimed at the high end, including Bloomberg's Pursuits, Fairchild Fashion Media's menswear quarterly M and Jason Binn's Du Jour.

"We're excited to be back in the rapidly expanding luxury market with a magazine that men really care about," Zinczenko said.

Rodale is being cautious this time around; Best Life will come out as a 300,000-circulation SIP (special-interest publication) priced at $5.99 for three months starting Oct. 23. There will be a companion iPad app and potential e-commerce component attached to it. Like the original, it will cover a range of topics like style, wealth, travel and fatherhood.

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