Hearst Magazines, with HGTV, announced Monday that the first of two test issues of HGTV Magazine would hit shelves Oct. 4. With departments like Kitchen Chronicles, Mission Makeover, and Real Estate Spy, it will be aimed squarely at homeowners, renovators, and real estate buffs. But don’t call it a shelter magazine.
“We would call it a lifestyle magazine,” Michael Clinton, marketing president and publishing director of Hearst Magazines, said in an interview. "This is not a shelter magazine." Rather than traditional home magazines like House Beautiful, which Hearst also publishes, and Traditional Home, Clinton said he thinks the competition is titles like Real Simple and Martha Stewart Living.
Hearst may be shying away from the shelter label for good reason. Home titles have been ripped from their foundation by the ad recession and housing market crash. Hearst has a successful template to work off of, though. Its Food Network Magazine, born out of an earlier partnership with Scripps, has been one of the fastest-growing magazines in recent memory. It’s set to increase its rate base for the sixth time, to 1.4 million in January since its 2009 launch.
As with Food Network Magazine, HGTV Magazine will start with two test issues, which will go on sale in October and January. The cover price will be $3.99. If all goes well, Hearst will go ahead with a full-scale launch. So far the results are encouraging. Aided by an hour-long special airing on HGTV called "HGTV: The Making of Our Magazine," HGTV Magazine has already received 40,000 subscription orders at a price of $15 for 10 issues.