Monday, April 09, 2007

'Relish' Success, Husni Names It Launch Of The Year

'Relish' Success, Husni Names It Launch Of The Year
by Erik Sass, Monday, Apr 9, 2007 8:15 AM ET

Relish, a magazine delivered via newspaper with a circulation of almost 9 million, was awarded the new magazine "Launch of the Year" by Samir Husni, a professor of journalism at the University of Mississippi, better known as "Mr. Magazine." Every year, Husni--widely acknowledged as a guru of all things magazine--holds a one-man awards ceremony to honor standouts that carry status in the industry.

Asked what distinguished Relish from the other 900 launches of 2006, Husni listed several key accomplishments. Foremost, the magazine's circulation rose from 6 million to 9 million in its first year, partly through the use of an unconventional distribution channel.

"While everyone is complaining about distribution and how bad the single-copy distribution channels are, and how expensive the direct-mail subscriptions channels are, Relish went a different way: the newspaper route." That method guaranteed a strong distribution channel, and it ensured the "timely and cheap delivery of the magazine to its intended audience."

Husni also praised the magazine for giving a boost to the newspaper business --a medium desperately in need of help. "I have spoken with a few newspaper publishers who credited Relish with giving their paper a boost every time it is inserted." In fact, he notes, most papers advertise the arrival of Relish a week before the magazine is out.

Relish and American Profile, both produced by the Publishing Group of America, use the same distribution model as magazine inserts like USA Today and Parade, but they target a previously unfilled niche: "B" and "D" counties usually comprised of small towns and rural areas. The magazines' success is notable--especially in light of the recent closing of Life, which was also distributed via newspapers, but in competition with USA Today and Parade in "A" and "B" counties.

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