Bauer Media – the German publisher that sold its pop culture and youth magazines three years ago – is jumping back into fame in a new company with Drew Barrymore.
According to the company, “Drew” should be “optimism in the form of a magazine”. The new quarterly edition is “a feel-good print product dedicated to beauty, love and fun”, its glossy pages with “colorful photographs and stories about sights, travel destinations, products, recipes, etc. much more.”
And Barrymore is quoted as saying that she has dreamed of having her own magazine since she was a teenager.
It’s a dramatic turnaround for Bauer, who sold 13 celebrity and teen titles, including Closer, In Touch, and Life & Style, to American Media, the owner of the National Enquirer – under the direction of billionaire David Pecker – in June 2018, which later changed its name to A360Media.
“The content, cadence and consumers of the celebrity / entertainment magazines that Bauer sold to AMI in 2018 couldn’t be any different from Drew,” said a Bauer spokeswoman. “When Bauer made the decision to focus his portfolio on the service business for women, CEO Steven Kotok knew that he had the intention to further expand this strong business.”
The magazine, run by Drew Barrymore and featured here during a guest appearance on CBS This Morning, focuses on upbeat lifestyle topics like cooking.CBS via Getty Images
Drew is actually the second new magazine that Bauer has launched against the recession. In December, it brought out another magazine of the same name, Joy the Baker, with food blogger Joy Wilson. That’s quarterly now. Drew is slowly starting its first issue out on newsstands this week, with a second issue not slated for the fall. Both will carry the relatively high deck price of $ 9.99.
In many ways, the latest launch is a modern evolution of a strategy Martha Stewart put in place in the 1990s and her partnership with Time Inc. to introduce Martha Stewart Living. Twenty years ago Hearst teamed up with Oprah Winfrey to launch O, Oprah Magazine and Reader’s Digest in 2005 before being sold to Meredith in 2011.
Oprah and Rachael Ray are now available quarterly with a cover price of $ 9.99. MSL still publishes 10 issues per year at a deck price of $ 4.99.
Drew Barrymore joins the ranks of other celebs with her own titles, including Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart and Rachael Ray.CBS via Getty Images
“The focus is on celebrity service rather than celebrity news and views,” said Professor Samir Husni, founder of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi’s School of Journalism and New Media.
Celebrity themed magazines can be problematic. Hearst edited Good Life with Dr. Mehmet Oz moved from a regular frequency magazine to a high-priced quarterly magazine when the heart surgeon’s recommended treatments were being reviewed by the government. And Condé Nast stopped publishing Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop magazine when the actress failed to vigorously review treatments and therapies she advocated.
Still, “This genre of magazines is proving to be what the doctor ordered during this pandemic and beyond,” said Husni. “I assume that there will be even more partnerships of this kind in the future. Service journalism is a must, the celebrity is the icing on the cake. “