You’ve read the magazine, now learn to cook at the Good Housekeeping Institute in Soho
After Vogue and Monocle, Good Housekeeping becomes the latest title to jump from the page to bricks and mortar
Ian Burrell is Assistant Editor and Media Editor at The Independent, i paper and Independent on Sunday. He covers news from the whole media sector from television, press, radio and advertising to technology. His weekly column on the media appears every Monday in The Independent and i paper. He also writes on media, music and culture, including long-form pieces for The Independent’s Saturday magazine and the Independent on Sunday’s magazine, New Review. He is a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4’s What The Papers Say and a specialist commentator to Monocle 24 radio. He has contributed to most major broadcast outlets including BBC television and radio, CNN, Sky News, Al Jazeera and LBC. He has also written on media for GQ magazine. Ian has been reporting on the media industry for The Independent for more than a decade. Previously he was the newspaper’s Home Affairs Editor. He worked at The Sunday Times for five years, including as a member of the investigative Insight team, covering stories on political funding, industrial espionage and the arms industry. Previously he worked in ITV for London Weekend Television, on a weekly current affairs programme presented by Danny Baker. Ian trained at the Birmingham Post & Mail and was Regional Reporter of the Year in Press Gazette’s national awards.
Sunday 03 August 2014
An Aga cooker and a wetroom with sprinklers may not be textbook tools of internet-era publishing but they are central to a ground-breaking project aimed at freeing magazines from the financial shackles of the news-stand.
The Good Housekeeping Institute, which opens on Monday in Soho, London, has been designed by the magazine publisher Hearst as a “state-of-the-art” symbol of modern living which will ensure the future of a 92-year-old print brand.
The Aga, along with 10 shiny Miele cooking stations, will form part of the magazine’s cookery school while the wetroom will be used to test the waterproof qualities of umbrellas and Wellington boots for articles in print and online.
Elsewhere at the institute, the magazine’s “Tried, Tested, Trusted” team will be evaluating beauty and tech products or road-testing children’s buggies over the nursery equivalent of a Top Gear circuit.
The facility, to which readers will be invited as paying customers from October, is the latest attempt by the magazine industry to make money beyond the traditional vehicles of cover price and advertising.
Vogue has its own fashion courses at the Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design, also in Soho, as well as a chain of upmarket cafés and lounges. Tatler has a Russian private members’ club, and Monocle has a string of boutique shops.
Good Housekeeping’s editorial director, Lindsay Nicholson, said the institute idea – where readers pay to attend workshops and classes – could be extended to other brands in the Hearst portfolio. “The idea of moving away from the two-revenue-stream model of advertising and circulation and looking at ways of interacting with readers beyond the print model is under consideration all the time,” she explained.
Guy Woodward, chairman of the British Society of Magazine Editors, said: “The whole idea of having physical premises is an interesting one. It makes sense for Good Housekeeping: you only have to look at the success of food programmes on TV to see there’s an obvious adjunct.”
He predicted that the pattern would spread steadily through specialist magazines, suggesting sports titles would be hosting expert clinics for readers to brush up their skills. “It seems a natural progression for every specialist brand with an activity attached,” he said.
Susie Forbes, principal of the Condé Nast College, said the building was a “no-brainer” for the publisher. “We are interested in new young talent and so is the fashion industry.”
Some of the 300 students who have passed through its doors since it opened in April 2013 have gone on to jobs at Vogue House. Others who have found work in the wider fashion industry take with them a special bond with the Condé Nast titles. Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman and GQ editor Dylan Jones have participated in teaching at the college. “It’s a different starting point for people wanting to work in the fashion industry,” Ms Forbes said.
Ten Good Housekeeping staff will start work on Monday at the institute, which is on the lower two floors of a hotel building, with more arriving in coming weeks. Ms Nicholson said the institute’s 5,000sq ft of space allowed the magazine to interact with readers in a way that was not possible in its “rabbit warren” editorial offices.
But IPC Media, which operates from the modern Blue Fin Building in south London, is happy to use its own premises as a showcase. Women’s Weekly offers readers the chance to come in for fiction writing, knitting and crochet tutorials. The design magazine Wallpaper* has its own bespoke interior design service, Wallpaper* Composed, which offers consultancy and access to outstanding architects.
Tom Bureau, the chief executive of Immediate Media, publisher of Radio Times and BBC Top Gear magazine, has encouraged staff to “think like a retailer”. Radio Times now has a travel service which has sold 2,000 holidays by marketing destinations against TV programmes – such as Dorset (Broadchurch) and Belfast (Game of Thrones).
The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
Czech police haul migrants off trains to Germany and 'write numbers on their arms in ink'
Trans actress Candis Cayne reveals she walked out of Curb Your Enthusiasm audition over an offensive joke
More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 1 Huawei Mate S and Huawei Watch: new products take on iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch
- 2 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
£18 - 20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Executive / Account Manager is ...
£12000 - £13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This social media management pr...
£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Deputy Editor - Wimbledon...
£26000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Editor (Magazines/Publish...