Dr. Oz Might be the Rx for Mag Publisher

Image Publishers looking for promising ideas are said to have approached talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz about doing an eponymous magazine. According to the industry grapevine, Rodale, Hearst and Time Inc. are the most likely candidates. A spokesman for Oz would not comment on the rumors or potential suitors, but said: “It should be a surprise to no one that Dr. Oz would be a desirable partner in a magazine venture because of the popularity of the show.” Oz has been a prolific writer, churning out 10 books in the “You: The Owner’s Manual” series for Simon & Schuster’s Free Press.
He’s also been a popular cover subject for Hearst magazines Good Housekeeping and Woman’s Day over the years, as well as two covers of Time magazine in 2011, where he writes a regular column. His show is owned by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions, which is already in a joint venture with Hearst to publish O, the Oprah Magazine.

He’s also graced the cover of Prevention — becoming the first man ever to do so, with astounding success. Prevention, owned by Rodale, has a big direct-marketing book wing. “The Dr. Oz Show” is the third-most popular TV talkfest behind Dr. Phil McGraw and Kelly Ripa’s “Live! With Kelly and Michael,” according to the Nielsen ratings.

“We’re concentrating on the show, and as we facilitate our national conversation on health, we use all platforms to get the message out,” said the spokesman.

Beast hunt

So what’s going to happen to the 1.4 million subscribers to the print edition of Newsweek now that Editor Tina Brown unveiled plans to go all digital?

First it seems that Newsweek Daily Beast, part of Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp, will try to get existing readers to switch to the digital format.

“Our plan is to pro-actively communicate online and in print (for the next two months) to current print consumers to present the option for the digital version,” said a spokesman for Newsweek Daily Beast.

“The digital version will be available in both tablet formats [iOS and Android] and on the Web, readable by browser and app, through Zinio,” he added.

It is still uncharted territory.

Tablets — once held up as the bright hope for the future — have not generated as many subscriptions as publishers initially hoped. Most count it as an auxiliary source of revenue and not their salvation.

Brown has said she hopes to have “hundreds of thousands” of tablet subscribers to the new digital Newsweek Global. If she does, it will instantly become one of the biggest — if not the biggest — digital magazines in existence.

But just in case, sources say Time Inc., which bought out the old US News & World Report list several years ago when Mort Zuckerman dropped print subscriptions, is also said to be negotiating to buy the list from Newsweek.

The subscription liabilities — money collected from consumers who have yet to receive issues — are believed to be around $30 million.


Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy shook up its adult-books divisions yesterday, compressing its imprints into four main groups and sacking fewer than 10 people.

Gone are Martha Levin, executive vice president of Free Press, and Dominick Anfuso, vice president and editor-in-chief of the division.

The four main groups are: Simon & Schuster Publishing Group, which absorbs Free Press and will be headed by Jonathan Karp; the Atria Publishing Group, headed by Judith Curr, which will fold in Nashville-based religious publisher Howard Books; the Scribner Publishing Group, headed by Susan Moldow, which now includes the Touchstone imprint; and the Gallery Publishing Group, headed by Louise Burke, which gets mass-market paperback publisher Pocket Books under its wing.

Robin flies

The digital downsizing at American Media—which saw 15 people get the old heave-ho last Friday — included at least one high-level executive: Robin Keller, the senior vice president of digital.

She was essentially made redundant when Joe Bilman was hired as chief digital officer with plans to bring in many of his former colleagues.

Better life

Rodale just sent the new issue of Best Life to newsstands this week with Hugh Jackman on the cover. Inside is a short story by John Grisham, who rarely ventures into magazines. (His latest novel, “The Racketeer” also hits this week.)

The issue is the first since Rodale put the original Best Life to sleep in 2009. The company, which plans to distribute 300,000 copies, is looking at the latest edition as a test run, with plans to do at least two issues in 2013 if the sell-through is strong.
(Keith J. Kelly, New York Post,  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07