The winds of change have blown for two titles in the Tangible Media stable, with the rejigged weekly Groove Guide set to launch with a renewed pop cultural zest and a new but familiar editor at the helm, as well as a relaunch and an editorial reshuffle at sustainable living magazine Good.
There was some understandable sadness when monthly Kiwi music bible Real Groove headed for that great magazine heaven in the sky a few weeks back after being unable to stem the flow of red ink (you can read about the rationale behind the decision here). But amid the mourning there was some justifiable excitement about the new weekly street press that was to rise out of daddy's ashes and, in these days of instant gratification, follow in the footsteps of other markets get closer to the moment of decision.
Vincent Heeringa, Groove Guide's publisher, says the publication will be relaunched simply as Groove Guide (no ‘The’) and will cover all aspects of pop culture—from gigs and live performances, to music, movies, DVDs, games, fashion and entertainment. It’s also going up in size to A4 (so the point will be a bit bigger) and, for the paper nerds, it looks likely to be printed on the very street pressy 80 gram offset stock. There's no room for extra content, but it is hoped most of the Real Groove columnists will be carried over to the weekly format.
GrooveGuide.co.nz and its e-newsletter will also be getting a spruce up and will carry more blogs, gigs, news, video and a wider range of topics than any other Kiwi entertainment site.
The new musical incarnation will be edited by Sam Wicks, the former editor of Real Groove, who is taking over from existing Groove Guide editor Leonie Hayden.
“We are really thrilled to have retained Sam, who is one of the most knowledgeable and well-networked music journalists in New Zealand ... Leonie has done an awesome job of helping reinvent The Groove Guide when it was a struggling part of the Groove empire [its readership increased by 60 percent in the last year according to the latest Nielsen figures]," Heeringa says. "She has added personality and professionalism, always meeting deadlines and budgets, and has been very professional through this process."
- Groove Guide—what Wicks calls "the road map to New Zealand's pop culture"—is due to hit the streets on 10 November. For launch specials and one-off sponsorships across print and online, call Becky Saunders on 021 462 430 or email email@example.com. Groove Guide is also seeking a summer intern, so if you're an enthusiastic, ambitious journalism graduate, a talented newbie or a rich, philanthropic old music fiend who likes getting free tickets to gigs, making coffee for bastard bosses and earning hardly any money, send your CV to Vincent Heeringa. There's some daily news and magazine experience up for grabs and the possibility of a job at the end of the tunnel.
There are also some big changes afoot at Good: after almost three years with the magazine, Annabel McAleer is stepping down as editor and she will be replaced by current deputy editor Sarah Heeringa.
“I’ve spent the last three years writing about the good life, and I'm keen to spend more time out there living it,” she says. “I'm leaving in search of the elusive work-life balance, and am looking forward to reading a few books that aren't about the end of the world as we know it."
McAleer, who picked up the reins from launch editor Francesca Price, will continue to write about her favourite subjects, health and the environment, in future issues and on the Good website.
Under McAleer's direction Good has picked up an eco-swag bag of editorial and design awards, including MPA Magazine Launch of the Year in 2009 and McAleer's own award for Journalist of the Year in the Family Health and Wellbeing Category at the 2010 MPA Awards.
The home and food/healthy eating/healthy living/sustainability space is a growth area at present, as evidenced by The Healthy Food Guide, NZ Gardener, the recently launched Good Health and a few others. But, despite plenty of potential and good readership figures after its launch, it never quite scaled the commercial heights it should have (almost like the print equivalent of ecostore). Of course, the recession didn't help the sustainability movement because price started winning out over environmental friendliness. But some also believed the magazine was slightly too worthy; too 'this is what's wrong', instead of 'here's some practical advice to make things better'.
John Baker, Consumer Magazines publisher for Tangible Media, says this thought is behind the relaunched mag: it's not about changing the world, it's about allowing the primarily female audience to make purchasing decisions based on making their own world better.
And Heeringa, who brings well over a decade of journalistic and home-crafting experience to the role, is certainly cut out for the task. Before joining Good she was the founding editor of Inspire (for which she won Editor of the Year, Custom Publishing, at the 2008 MPA Awards) and editor of Parenting Magazine.
“Good’s core message is the same but we’re aiming to make it more personal and accessible to a wider audience,” says Heeringa. “Making healthy choices for yourself and your family, creating a toxic-free home and choosing to buy what is good for you, for producers and for the world around us, are key ingredients of the good life. Good magazine is for people who care about the choices they make. As well as being filled with stories of inspirational Kiwis doing amazing things, it will provide even more practical information to help readers and their families live healthier and lighter on the planet.”
- The December/January issue, which hits newsstands on 6 December, is being given a design makeover and, another one for the print nerds, it will be switching to a luxurious, eco-offset paper stock. For sales enquiries contact Gavin Healy on 09 966 1076 or firstname.lastname@example.org