Media: News Magazines rebrands as NewsLife Media

Media: News Magazines now NewsLife Media

NewsLife Media's Sandra Hook and Zara Curtis
Following the creation of Fairfax Media's Women's Network incorporating its nine female-centric print and digital entities in October, News Magazines is rebranding as NewsLife Media.

"This name change recognises the work we have done over the last few years to strategically reimagine our business," said Sandra Hook, CEO of News Magazines.

"We are elevating our digital focus, creating new products and services, developing our presence in Women, Lifestyle and Life Stage, while building on the strength of our phenomenal print brands."

While Fairfax says its Women's Network's digital properties reach 2.75 million women and its Sunday Life supplement enjoys a readership of 1.149 million readers* each week, a combined reach of 3.9 million, NewsLifeMedia says its print and digital assets – covering food, fashion, health, parenting and weekends – reach an unduplicated audience of 8.5 million Australians and a gross readership of 10.87 million.

"The recent acquisition of KidSpot underpins our commitment to expanding our portfolio of lifestyle brands," said Hook. "Future acquisitions and strategic partnerships will further strengthen NewsLifeMedia’s position as Australia’s leading lifestyle and life stage content business."

As with Fairfax, the rebranding initiative gives NewsLifeMedia the opportunity to better sell its integrated print and digital brands to advertisers attracted to the potential reach and cross-brand partnerships.

"By restructuring our portfolio into lifestyle verticals, we will deliver richer integration for our advertising customers across all platforms that we publish, putting content in context for more relevant connections and meaningful action with consumers," said NewsLifeMedia commercial director Zara Curtis.

NewsLife Media's logo
"NewsLifeMedia’s print and digital assets now reach almost one in two Australians aged over 14. Significantly, the company also retains 100 per cent ownership of its digital assets, which gives us the edge in building and monetising audiences. This allows us to be truly customer-centric."

The company's stable also includes, Super Food Ideas, Woolworths Australian Good Taste, ABC delicious, MasterChef Magazine, donna hay magazine, Vogue Australia,, GQ and,, Vogue Living, Inside Out, Country Style and Gardening Australia. It acquired Katie May's in June. Body & Soul title (a newspaper supplement, online presence and magazine) took out the Magazine of the Year award at the recent News Awards after its relaunch in January and magazine launch in November 2010.

The Australian reports that the food portfolio will be overseen by Fiona Nilsson; Mark Kelly, formerly lifestyle group publisher, will oversee fashion and home brands; Katie May is in charge of parenting; Karen McCartney is head of the health group; and newspaper inserted magazines (The Weekend Australian Magazine, Wish, sunday magazine, QWeekend, STM and The Adelaide Magazine) will be overseen by Curtis and Alistair McEwan, national group sales director of NIMs. 

In October, former chief executive and publisher of Fairfax Magazines Lisa Hudson was appointed general manager of food and wine content in the company's Media Metro Division, which suggested Fairfax will be making considerable investment in further strengthening one of its core areas.

"It’s an exciting and strategic role with huge potential to leverage our strength in food and wine across newspapers, digital, events, books, apps and beyond, both editorially and commercially," Hudson said in a statement. "The food and wine category is one of the company’s top priorities under the new structure and food is also my great passion."

Giving Hudson responsibility for the Good Food Guides, liftouts Epicure and Good Living and website meant magazines would now report to Metro Division national manager Gary Linnell. It was said this indicated the company's magazines were less of a commercial priority.

It is said that News Limited will rebrand as a more consumer-centric (less Murdoch centric) News Australia in the new year. And it has been quite the year for media companies with the latest round of news indicating there is more shake-up to come following John B. Fairfax's sale of his majority share in Fairfax media and the circulation audit results.

While The Australian has put up its paywall, Publisher's Australia has been running ads in key titles promoting the medium to readers, The Sydney Morning Herald has also launched a new brand campaign showcasing its excellent journalism (tagline: "Independence. Integrity. Every Day").

The forthcoming tabling of findings of the Independent Media Inquiry in February 2012, which will be incorporated into the Convergence Review, should shine a light on where to from here as companies grapple with restructuring its business and editorial models to better navigate the new media future.

*Roy Morgan readership survey September 2011.

See also:
'Pace of change keeps pressure on media by Elizabeth Knight' @ Business Day (Fairfax Media)
'Forget fine print, can Fairfax Media survive?' by Mark Day @ The Australian 
'Which magazines are Aussies reading' by GWAS

'Fairfax media launches Fairfax Women's Network' @ Fairfax Media

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