Coming soon to a newsstand near you: Oprah, The Magazine. Or maybe it'll be Winfrey's Bazaar. Or, perhaps, Oprah Aficionado. They're still working on the name. Last week Hearst Magazines, the publisher of titles from Cosmopolitan to Good Housekeeping, unveiled a deal with Oprah Winfrey to publish a new large-format, glossy magazine bearing the talk-show host's sought-after imprimatur. In signing Oprah, Hearst has bought a built-in audience. And for Winfrey's burgeoning multimedia empire, the timing couldn't be better.
Slated to hit the racks next March with a hefty press run of 850,000 copies, the new magazine will target women in their 30s, offering an Oprah-patented stew of features on family, relationships, spirituality, work, health, beauty and books. "There may be one celebrity profile," says Good Housekeeping editor in chief Ellen Levine, who is overseeing the magazine's development until a permanent editor is named. "But it's certainly not going to be driven by celebrities." Unless, of course, you count Oprah. She's already posed for the cover of the first issue--and may well pop up on several more of the four to six editions planned for next year. The magazine is also set to give readers a peek inside one of Winfrey's homes. Levine hopes to enlist the likes of Peggy Noonan to write, while Oprah herself is poring over proposed story lists and providing input on design. "She will be very involved in what goes into the magazine in the beginning," says Levine. The ultimate aim, Levine says, is a magazine that mirrors Winfrey's traditional message of self-affirmation for women. "If Martha Stewart's magazine is about beautiful exteriors, this is going to be about beautiful interiors," she says. "It's about women as winners. Empowered, encouraged, enriched--all those 'e-n' words."
On the business side, the buzzwords tend more toward "branding" and "synergy. …