While many magazines are cutting rate base and frequency to match costs with declining page revenue, Food Network Magazine is going in the opposite direction as consumers retreat to comforts like food and entertainment.
The Hearst Magazines/Food Network joint venture will triple its rate base to 900,000 with the 2009 October issue. The rate base is scheduled to increase again to 1.1 million in August 2010.
Food Network Magazine set a rate base of 300,000 with its first “test” issue in October 2008. Hearst said the title achieved that rate base within three weeks and that it has already sold more than 550,000 subscriptions.
The magazine, which showcases the cooking and lifestyles of Food Network’s celebrity chefs like Bobby Flay and Ina Garten, was originally scheduled to increase its rate base to 600,000 this October.
The food/epicurean magazine category has been hard hit by declines in nonendemic ad segments like auto, shelter and travel, even as advertising for packaged foods has held steady. This year through the May issue, ad pages in the category fell 26.2 percent, per the Mediaweek Monitor.