BBC Magazines is to launch a US title aimed at readers with a "curious mind" and will take on National Geographic and other natural history and science publications.
The 100-page full-colour glossy, BBC Knowledge Magazine, will publish six times a year from August and use content from UK titles BBC History Magazine, BBC Wildlife Magazine and popular science publication Focus.
BBC Knowledge Magazine will aim to maximise subscription revenue, priced at $5.99 on the newsstand and $29.95 for an annual subscription.
"This was always envisaged to be an international project," said Andy Benham, the publishing director of BBC Worldwide's specialist division, BBC Magazines Bristol.
"While we are initially launching in America, where the concept researched very favourably, the magazine undoubtedly has global appeal. We are already looking at a number of exciting international licensing prospects."
BBC Worldwide already sells about 35,000 copies of various titles in the US, including Gardens Illustrated and Homes & Antiques.
But the 85,000 print run for the new Knowledge title will require more investment than for the launch of BBC Countryfile magazine in the UK last year.
The launch will include the mailout of 1.5m promotional items in the US.
"It's pitched towards the idea of curiosity," Benham said. "We are not going to go in there and compete head to head with American magazines."
Benham said a few features would be "National Geographic-y" but that the magazine would be very broad, covering everything from the Falklands war to the country of Colombia.
BBC Knowledge Magazine will be edited in the UK by Sally Palmer, former deputy editor of Focus, with help from US consultant editor John Horgan, a science journalist.
BBC Knowledge is already an established brand, having launched as a television channel in Poland, Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia last year as part of BBC Worldwide's new Global Channels business.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
New BBC bi-monthly mag targets Americans' 'curiosity' and takes on Nat Geo
Stephen Brook, press correspondent of the Guardian, reports