Saturday, April 07, 2007

Rodale may focus on men's homes

Rodale may focus on men's homes
It's considering a Men's Health magazine spinoff giving house-related advice.
By Kurt Blumenau Of The Morning Call

Emmaus publisher Rodale has done well talking to men about their health. Now, it's going to tell them a few things about their living rooms and bathrooms, as well.The company is considering a spin-off title of its Men's Health magazine, to be called Men's Health Living. The new publication would focus on home improvements and home-related advice.

Industry magazine Advertising Age reported last month that Men's Health Living will appear in September as a special standalone issue. Rodale will consider more issues if the first one does well, Ad Age reported.Paul Reader, a Men's Health spokesman, confirmed Thursday that Rodale officials are looking at the concept. He said details are being worked out, and Rodale is not committing to a September print date.''It's kind of a work in progress,'' Reader said. ''It may happen sooner, it may happen later. It might not happen at all.''Last month, Men's Health Editor in Chief Dave Zinczenko told Ad Age the new title is ''a natural extension'' of the magazine he heads.''Just like Men's Health empowers men to seize control of their bodies, Men's Health Living will empower men to take control of their environment,'' Zinczenko said.Also, Men's Health Publisher Jack Essig told Ad Age that men are becoming more involved in the designs, colors and outfitting of the places where they live.Men's Health Living, while new to the United States, is in print elsewhere.

A magazine with the same name and concept is produced in South Africa by Touchline Media, a publishing company that also publishes international versions of Rodale titles Men's Health and Runner's World.Front-cover headlines in the most recent South African issue of Men's Health Living include ''Easy Money: How To Play The Property Market,'' ''Future-Proof Your Home'' and ''Come Clean: Your New Bathroom Is Here.''Ad Age identified only one possible U.S. rival to Men's Health Living: This Old House, a Time Inc. home-improvement publication inspired by the long-running TV show of the same name.Sarah Garvey, a spokeswoman for This Old House, said the magazine's research indicates home decisions are made by both men and women. This Old House does not specifically target either sex, she said.''We're excited for them,'' Garvey said of Rodale. ''We'll be interested to see where they fit'' into the magazine market.The new magazine would represent another effort by Rodale to extend its highly successful and award-winning Men's Health, which launched in 1986 and has been called one of the most successful rollouts in industry history.

The company unveiled a Women's Health magazine in October 2005 after publishing several trial issues. Rodale also attempted a spin-off magazine called MH18, aimed at younger readers, which is no longer published.Men's Health had paid circulation of 1.8 million copies at the end of last year, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The newer Women's Health closed the year with circulation of about 650,000.Other magazines published by Rodale include Prevention and Bicycling. The company also publishes general-interest books such as Al Gore's ''An Inconvenient Truth'' and Dr. Arthur Agatston's ''The South Beach Diet.''Rodale is privately held and employs about 730 people in the Valley, as well as about 300 in New York City.

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