Monday, September 10, 2012

The Chicago Sun-Times launches a 24-page society Sunday magazine in both print and digitally through a free tablet edition inside the Apple Newsstand

This Sunday the Chicago Sun-Times launched a 24-page society magazine that was inserted into the tabloid newspaper, as well as the paper's suburban publications. Led by PR veteran Susanna Negovan, Splash is basically a collection of pictures of smiling faces of rich attendees of social events in the city. If you like People you pretty much know what you'll get, only in 24-pages.
The interesting twist, though, is that the struggling Chicago tabloid, under the new ownership of Wrapports LLC, has launched an accompanying tablet edition into the Apple Newsstand at the same time. The tablet edition of Splash, Splash by Chicago Sun=Times, was launched this morning into the Apple Newsstand and is free of charge to all readers. Readers can subscribe to Splash, as well, also at no charge.

"Producing a 24-page society publication on a weekly basis completely changes the model for this content category in our city," said the owner of the Sun-Times, Michael W. Ferro, Jr., in the press release issued before the debut of the first Sunday magazine. "Combining the volume of Chicago's civic and philanthropic events with the speed of a dailynews organization enables Sun-Times readers to get fresh and timely information about happenings around town with unparalleled breadth and depth."

"Chicago's social and philanthropic community is one of the most prominent in the nation," said Susanna Negovan, editor of the society magazine. "I'm thrilled to beleading the creation of a new local product that captures the spirit of our city and suburbs in a way that is beautiful, interesting and consistently relevant."

(I wonder if people really talk like this at these society events. I bet they do.)

The digital magazine is a simple tablet magazine, similar to a replica edition, but with some slideshows and scrolling text boxes. Since producing a weekly tablet edition is difficult enough, the publisher here has simplified the process by creating a portrait only digital magazine and keeping most layouts to the basic design found in the print edition.

The Sunday magazine version of Splash is an extension of the society feature of the same name that appears each day inside the tabloid newspaper, Daily Splash.

Left: The splash page for Splash; Middle: the library; Right: a typical story inside the magazine, lots of smiling faces looking straight into the camera.