Hearst Launches Luxury Lifestyle Magazine Town & Country in the UK
With print magazines in slow decline you might think that a new launch would come as a surprise but in the case of Hearst’s new title, Town & Country, it’s far from it.That’s because this move has been expected for a good few years. The launch was originally mooted just before the recession hit but no doubt it was thought that launching a magazine about the lives of the rich and powerful in the midst of the downtown lacked sensibility. The green shoots of recovery will have played a part in the decision to launch now. No doubt the success of the independently published Country and Town House, which targets a similar audience, has had an influence too.In truth, Hearst’s Town & Country it’s not an entirely new title – the US version has been in print since 1846 – but it is the first time it’s been seen in the UK.The magazine will be biannual (although we expect this frequency to increase soon) and will emulate it’s American cousin in documenting the lives and interests of the rich and powerful, although we’re promised something much more modern and contemporary in the UK.The editorial, which will be produced by the Harpers Bazaar team, will cover topics such as fashion and jewellery, beauty, sport, food and wine, art and philanthropy. However, the content will reflect a ‘unique British sensibility’. It will focus on the ‘New Establishment’ – people such as Stella McCartney, Roman Abramovich and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – specifically those who give back something to the world, whether that be via their service, philanthropy or creative endeavour. In short, we’re expecting a blend of Tatler (society content) and Vanity Fair (cultural topics) with a liberal dash of Country Life.There will be a digital version too – initially just a ‘Town & Country’ tab on the Harpers’ Bazaar website.The rationale for the magazine is clear – luxury advertisers still love print and this gives Hearst another title in their armoury. It also opens up opportunities to approach new advertisers who would see little point in appearing in Hearst’s existing suite of luxury titles (which include Harpers Bazaar, Esquire, Elle and Elle Decoration) – brands in sectors like property, motoring, personal finance, country and sporting pursuits, education and wealth management.Whether it truly attracts the demographic that Hearst desire – a blend of old and new money, with the focus on the latter – or merely aspirants to that lifestyle, only time will tell. However, Hearst is being as selective as it can in its distribution strategy to achieve the right audience – with copies to be located in first-class airline lounges, luxury hotels and leading property agents as well as on newstands and bagged with copies of Harpers Bazaar in high-density AB locations.The first edition of the UK edition of Town & Country will have a print run of 60,000 and will be available in May with a cover price of £4.