Canadian Magazine Industry News
17 January 2008,     TORONTO
Reader�s Digest gets into the women�s magazine game

TORONTO—Women’s magazine racks across the country will get even more crowded this spring when Reader’s Digest Magazines Canada launches Best Health. The paid-circulation oversized glossy will carry healthy lifestyle content based around the four pillars of “health, beauty, food and relationships.” Targeting women 35-55, the new mag is set to hit newsstands March 24.

Reader’s Digest publisher Larry Thomas.

“So far the reception from both the advertising community and the newsstand community has been extremely positive,” says Reader’s Digest publisher Larry Thomas. The magazine tested well with consumers. RD is aiming for a first-issue circulation of 100,000 with issue-over-issue growth expected thereafter. The newsstand price is $4.99 (the first issue will sell for $3.99) and subscribers will pay $24.97 (plus $5.99 in postage and handling) for six issues a year. The rate for a full-page colour ad is $10,000.

Taking the managing editor reigns at the magazine is Bonnie Munday, who was previously Reader’s Digest’s editor-at-large and managing editor of RD’s Our Canada when it launched in 2004.

With Chatelaine (Rogers), Canadian Living, More (both Transcontinental), plus countless fashion, shopping and shelter books all fighting for women readers and the advertisers who want to reach them, is there room for another profitable women’s magazine in Canada?

Thomas thinks so. “There’s room to grow,” he says. “Obviously there is a competitive environment out there. We will be looking to generate some dollars from not just other magazines, but other media as well…But we think there is a strong interest in this particular subject and I think that [advertisers] are interested in being in the environment we’re going to offer.”

Lynn Chambers, group publisher of Canadian Living and Homemakers, says consumers will answer the question. “I think that there is keen interest in good information on health and I trust that Reader’s Digest will deliver that. From an advertiser’s point-of-view, magazines are still highly relevant with this target group and I think [Best Health] will find its place. As a category, we’re really needing to reinforce magazines’ role in the media mix…What I’d love to see is a continued strengthening of the magazine category as a great way to reach women.”

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