Wenner Media to Postpone Us Weekly Spinoff

With advertisers slashing spending, Wenner Media’s Us Weekly said it would delay until fall the planned spring launch of a fashion/beauty spinoff, Us Style.
The previously announced spinoff was slated to publish quarterly with a circulation of 450,000, with about half coming from subscriptions and half coming from newsstand sales. While the fashion/beauty category is already saturated with monthlies as well as spinoffs like People Style Watch and Cosmopolitan Style and Beauty, Us Style’s rationale was that the majority of Us Weekly’s readers wanted more fashion and beauty content. If the title sold well, Us hoped to extend it to eight times in 2010.
“While Us Weekly received a very positive response to its new brand extension, Us Style, with a number of advertisers confirmed, given the current economic environment we have decided to postpone the launch until fall 2009,” Vicci Lasdon Rose, publisher of Us Weekly, said in an emailed statement. She declined to elaborate further. “We are fully committed to extending the Us Weekly brand’s leadership in beauty and fashion through this launch, and look forward to taking Us Style into the marketplace next year.”
Monthlies, with their long lead times, have had thin first-quarter issues as marketers have held off spending while they await holiday sales results. The fashion/beauty category was no exception, with pages down 20.5 percent for the first issue of the year, per the Mediaweek Monitor. Us Style had the added challenges of being an untested publication with an early February close for its March launch issue.