Semi-homemade sensation Sandra Lee is set to launch a new magazine—much to the chagrin of some—after her Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade was shuttered in January. The replacement title, Sandra Lee, is set to make its debut later this month on Oct. 30, 2012 with a focus on “living well,” which will cover everything from cooking, entertaining, fashion and style.
While today’s ever-changing, ever-transitioning print world and an already-crowded mix of food and lifestyle magazines may seem an inopportune environment to start anew, there’s a case to be made for Sandra Lee, the magazine.
Sandra Lee won’t be your typical magazine start-up. By partnering with firmly entrenched TV Guide Magazine, this new title will have plenty of financial backing and cross-promotion that will lend it some measure of success.
That won’t change the fact that it will enter a flooded market segment, but its performance should provide some insight into what works in the modern publishing world. Already, titles like Food Network Magazine have flourished, thanks to the support of a successful cable channel and plenty of celebrity starpower behind it.
After the runaway success of Food Network Magazine, publisher Hearst launched HGTV magazine last year. It, too, has the luxury of an established network and popular designers, but time will tell if the success of Food Network Magazine can be replicated in another category.
In a similar vein, but on a smaller scale, was Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade. Lee gained notoriety as a QVC host, then transitioned to Food Network, where she shared her “semi-homemade” meals concept, using a mix of pre-packaged items and fresh ingredients.
Like it or not, magazines may not survive on content alone, and this part marketing/part editorial approach could be the new future of print holding on in an increasingly digital world. Which brings up an interesting point about Sandra Lee magazine—no print subscriptions will be sold, but it will be available in digital editions and on newsstands for $6.99 each per issue.
So let Sandra Lee join the long list of the food and lifestyle titles out there, even if it’s just for the sake of gauging whether a magazine’s success can be bought with enough high-profile names or heavy-hitting support behind it—or whether any case can be made that content is still king.