Glossy Talk: CLEO's Gemma Crisp on changing up cover girls

Glossy Talk: CLEO's Gemma Crisp on changing up cover girls, Twitter, Paper Giants and Park St

"Our covers have changed a lot since I started [in July 2010], they're a lot more colourful and I've been making an effort to put new celebrities on. The CLEO audience was sick of seeing the same old people, probably not just CLEO readers, but magazine audiences in general were just getting a bit sick of seeing the same covers every month. So I decided to mix things up and try new people such as Kim Kardashian, Lauren Conrad, Lea Michele from Glee and the latest issue has Rihanna on the cover. I've also changed the lineup of the features a bit, featuring more real people in the magazine so our readers have someone to relate to when they open up... I log onto Twitter about five to six times a day just to see what people are saying about the magazine. You've got to keep your finger on the pie; I can't sit here on Level 7, 54 Park St, in my little tower editing for who I think the CLEO reader is, I need to know what they think, what they feel like, who they want to see, what they want to read about."

- Gemma Crisp, editor, CLEO, speaking to Mediaweek. The industry newsletter also features an interview with Paper Giants writer Christopher Lee and executive producer John Edwards, as well as Vanilla Ice (yes, Vanilla Ice, ice baby – aka Robert Van Winkle!) this week. See more comments from Gemma...

In anticipation of celebrating CLEO's 40th birthday next year: "I worked on CLEO from 2004 to 2007 and I grew up reading it so I feel like I know the brand inside out. CLEO's such an iconic magazine to a lot of Australians. You can see from the 1.2 million that tuned in to Paper Giants. It just goes to show what a special place it holds in people's hearts. To be at the helm next year when everything's happening, it's exciting, it's probably a bit scary, but I can't wait."

On Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo: "I thought it was great, I obviously knew a bit of the back story behind CLEO and how it started and all the scandals behind it but I think the look into Ita Buttrose's personal life was very dramatic and I thought it was very compelling. It's a great rap for Ita and Kerry and the CLEO brand... I sat there and I had goosebumps at a couple of points thinking 'my god'. It's an amazing job that I have, just to be part of that history and continuing on that legacy. If I think too much about it I'll quietly start to freak out, but it's definitely made me feel very honoured to be doing what I'm doing."

On Park St: "I just tried to be as natural and as normal as possible. I probably came across as a bit too natural and a bit too normal but I was very aware of not being fake because there's so much reality TV out there these days that viewers can smell a fake from a mile away. I just tried to be myself, warts and all...It was a really good thing to do for people who wanted to get in the industry – all the journalism students out there and people who wanted to get into magazines. It just provided a good insight into how things actually happen here."

Girl With a Satchel


Claire said...

"Finger on the pie"??? Seriously???

I watched quite a bit of Park St. Reality shows need extreme personalities and situations to be truly entertaining. Talented, dedicated, hardworking women just don't seem to make for good telly.

somekindofwonderful said...

I'm stunned at putting Kim Kardashian on the cover is considered 'new'. Um...!?!?!?

And we all saw that ep of Park St where you put Lea Michele on the cover as you had no other choice.

Interviews like this keep reinforcing why I don't buy the glossies anymore

Danielle said...

I agree with somekindofwonderful. I don't think CLEO is doing anything groundbreaking, especially in who it pops on the cover each month and in what it features in the magazine. I'm only 24, but I've changed my glossy reading habits to incorporate TIME, Newsweek and The Australian Women's Weekly. Glossies like CLEO and Cosmo print the same thing each month, just under a different name. I would gladly welcome the day when a magazine, targeted toward women in their twenties and thirties, actually features 'new' material.