Are new magazines what newspapers need?

Sunday night is magazine announcement night at the New York Times. Appearing tomorrow will be these items:

  • Pursuits, a glossy monthly magazine about the lifestyles of the rich, wil be launched by the Wall Street Journal. According to the Times, the magazine will be distributed as an insert with the Journal’s Saturday edition in 18 metropolitan markets where the WSJ sells the most copies — about 800,000 out of 2,000,000 journal subscribers.
  • Over at the WSJ’s sister newspaper (ouch), the New York Post will be launching a glossy magazine to be distributed as an insert in its Sunday edition. With the name Page Six Magazine, it will certainly carry celebrity gossip, but will be “broader than its namesake,” says the Times — fashion, food, wine, restaurant, “stuff like that,” said Col Allan, editor of the Post.
  • Note: I’ve blogged before about the WSJ magazine project in an item in June that included speculation about U.S.A. Today magazine in addition to its USA Weekly.

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    • Rex – I, too blogged about this this morning on my new digital street corner. Here in Portland, the Oregonian has launched a couple of magazines recently. The “the upscale lifestyle” play was launched months ago as Ultimate and later renamed Ultimate Northwest. Lots of ads, but focus, as you might guess from the title, has been a struggle. The O at first relied on its own newspaper journos to produce the magazine which, as the Times article implies, can be a mistake. Magazines are different, eh? By the way, the next attempt by the O was Mix, a food magazine, which is quite good as a magazine (the editor has a magazine background this time) but now the question is, can advertisers support a magazine in this already jam-packed niche? Two magazines, two papers and numerous visitor pubs are already there. It seems sometimes that the papers, scrambling for new footholds, see magazines as a template. Pop it out of the toolbox, trace carefully, and away you go. Maybe that’s the case in some markets…John O’Toole