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Weekly magazines in battle mode

26 May 2009

Following the recent ABC audit showing consumer circulations in decline, New Idea has launched a fight back with an integrated platform.
With falling sales at the newsstand, Pacific Magazines have announced the latest arrow in their fight to retain market share with the announcement of New Idea TV - the first major project from SMG Red, the Seven Media Group’s integrated media division which is due to launch nationally on June 1.

The half hour program will be hosted by former Neighbours star and journalist Rachel Friend and will feature content heavily borrowed from the print publication with the aim of bringing the pages of the magazine to life.

“New Idea TV is a powerful marriage between Pacific Magazines and Seven,” said Pacific Magazines’ CEO Nick Chan. “The show is backed by strong investment and the leading experience of its partners to extend the reach and relevance of the masthead in a compelling format.”

New Idea magazine took a hit in the recent Audit Bureau of Circulations survey which saw copy sales for the first quarter of 2009 decline 13.4 per cent year-on-year while the last Roy Morgan readership survey showed a drop of 8 per cent

New Idea TV will go to air with an initial run of 60 episodes over 12 weeks with a strong focus on food with New Idea food director Barbara Northwood making daily appearances, with other New Idea staff including editor Mirella Cestaro, travel editor Andrea Black and lifestyle editor Chelsea Clark.

Initial sponsors include Masterfoods, Johnson & Johnson and Target, however questions have been raised about the suitability of the timeslot which, at 3pm Monday to Friday, is right in the middle of school pick-up and children’s TV viewing hours.

“That is an issue,” said executive producer Craig Walsh, speaking to The Australian, “probably another slot would have been better. But then again, slots, even in daytime, are hard to get. You have to take a shot and make the most of it.”



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