Hearst Helps Indie Publisher Bring Victoria Magazine Back From Dead
Four years after its shuttering, Victoria magazine, Hearst’s beloved women’s title, is being revived by Phyllis Hoffman, the 53-year-old CEO of Hoffman Media.
The Birmingham, Alabama-based company – publisher of such titles as Southern Lady and Cooking with Paula Deen – is partnering with Hearst to relaunch Victoria as a bimonthly. The magazine, with a cover price of $4.99, is scheduled to hit newsstands October 30.
“When it folded in 2004, the magazine had 800,000 subscribers and a 75 percent renewal rate – that’s unheard of,” says Hoffman. “There was a heavy emphasis on advertising – our formula is a little different” with subscriber, newsstand and advertiser revenue weighted equally.
The Hearst investment in the magazine is in name only. Hoffman will handle all editorial, production, distribution and advertising for Victoria. Hearst will contribute the Victoria trademark, copyright, URL, subscription database and access to historical content. Hoffman declined to say what her own stake in the relaunch is, calling it a “multimillion dollar” investment.
“There are all of these emotionally deprived, horrified, grieving readers whose sole purpose in life is to see this magazine revived,” says Hoffman. “It became a benchmark for women to compare other magazines,” adding that the landscape for women’s magazines has changed drastically since Hearst’s launch of Victoria in 1987. “Advertisers understand their spending power.”
Hoffman’s goal for Victoria is to reach 250,000 paid copies within the first two issues with heavy newsstand distribution, positioning and aggressive marketing to its former subscribers. “I think there is no reason it can’t be as large as it was.”