'Cosmopolitan' turns to TV

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THE WORLD'S number one women's magazine, Cosmopolitan, is to be made over as a television channel.

Targeting upmarket twenty-something women, The Cosmopolitan channel, is due to launch in Brazil later this year as a "test-bed". Plans are in place for the channel to come to Europe and the UK within two years.

Cosmo's pioneering agenda of relationships, orgasms and careers, which kicked off the modern women's glossy market in the early Seventies, will be reflected in the content of the channel. It will be a mix of new and bought-in programmes which will "capture the essence" of Cosmopolitan, according to a senior executive.

Regulations governing "masthead television" preventing magazine title spin-off shows from terrestrial television have recently been relaxed by the Independent Television Commission (ITC). However, guidelines still prevent the televising of specific editorial features from a publication, so a channel will have to reflect the magazine rather than copy it.

Cosmopolitan's United States parent company, the Hearst Corporation, already owns a string of channels through its television division, Hearst Entertainment. The television arm operates an animation channel and owns stakes in two US cable channels, Arts and Entertainment and the History Channel. The UK Cosmopolitan channel is likely to be available as part of a digital television package.

Launched in the UK in 1972, Cosmopolitan is the largest selling women's magazine in the world. National Magazine Company, which publishes the UK version, says it reaches more than 25 million women globally each month.

Terry Mansfield, chief executive of the National Magazine Company, said: "Compared to other publishers, we are in a very fortunate position as the Hearst Corporation is so heavily involved in television already. We don't have to strike deals with production companies to get our titles on air. You could see a Cosmopolitan channel in the UK within two years."