TV Guide branches out

In an effort to diversify its brand, TV Guide has issued a glossy new special issue that profiles its selections of the hottest stars on the tube.
With no TV listings, the sleek new offering marks a first for the popular weekly magazine, which boasts more than four million readers per issue for its regular guide.

In an effort to diversify its brand, TV Guide has issued a glossy new special issue that profiles its selections of the hottest stars on the tube.

With no TV listings, the sleek new offering marks a first for the popular weekly magazine, which boasts more than four million readers per issue for its regular guide.

The special issue, ‘The Hottest 51 Stars on TV,’ hits newsstands nationally on Sept. 11, with a cover price of $4.99. It features celebrity profiles and entertainment industry gossip and photos of the stars. It also marks the first time the Transcontinental Media-owned publication has ventured into the special interest domain. And other similar efforts are likely to follow on its heels.

Heidi Ferris, sales and promotion manager, TV Guide Canada, says that the effort is an attempt to expand the brand. ‘We’re looking at a couple of other initiatives along the same lines, a similar format with the same distribution [90,000] but different subject matter,’ Ferris says. ‘The plan is to publish two more [special issues] between now and next spring.’

TV Guide designed this issue to tag onto its popular and heavily promoted fall preview issues on new and returning series. ‘This is very much a consumer campaign which we have launched in conjunction with TV spots that run this time of year,’ says Ferris. The ads will run on a number of CTV and Global affiliates, as well as Alliance/Atlantis specialty channels.

Interestingly, Bell GlobeMedia-owned CTV is the exclusive advertiser in the issue. ‘To be the exclusive ad partner with TV Guide in this special issue was a unique opportunity that was hard to pass up,’ says Mike Cosentino, director of programming communications CTV Network. ‘In this growing competitive TV marketplace, a chance to exclusively showcase the CTV programming stars is extremely valuable.’

Ferris notes that there is no indication as to whether the magazine will be exclusive to one advertiser in the future.