It’s a magazine we all remember but one you might be surprised to learn is still in production.
Pacific magazine’s TV Hits has just celebrated its 21st anniversary. Now a bi-monthly magazine that sells for $5.95, new editor Celeste Mitchell says its March / April edition has just increased 100% year on year.
After working on Girlfriend, Total Girl, and serving as editor of Youth Brand Extensions including diaries and poster books, Mitchell joined the TV Hits brand in February. The new May / June edition is her first as Editor and features a new masthead and tagline, “let us entertain you.”
“It’s been around a long time and I’m sure it’s ingrained in the minds of a lot of Aussies. We’ve all had the posters on our walls at some stage,” says Mitchell. “But it’s a much different environment now to 21 years ago. We’ve got a lot of different outside factors competing against magazines and entertainment mags in particular.
“We’ve got a core audience of 14-24 year old age group. But it ranges anywhere from 6 to 25+. We have about 25% male readers and the rest are female. So it’s really that teen demographic.”
Aiming as a total entertainment brand for its readers, it has diversified from the television of its title to also include movies, music, games, fashion, beauty, tech and online.
“We have a TV section within it but it’s basically everything entertainment.”
Being a bi-monthly prohibits the magazine from focussing on episodic news and gossip.
“But we focus on shows that are popular at the moment and we do reflections on popular shows of the past. Our Box Set Must-Have page focussed on Gilmore Girls this issue. And we’ve just done a feature on popular shows that are on in the US or only on cable at the moment.”
Mitchell says the magazine had some fun offering a petition for readers to write in and say what shows they want on Free to Air. Reaper and Kings were two of the titles in the petition.
Heroes, Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill were other shows that proved popular with readers. Other recent features stories have looked at Australia’s Next Top Model, Neighbours and Home and Away.
But ABC and SBS shows didn’t fare so well in the mag.
“There’s not really anything relevant for us there at this time,” said Mitchell. “Teenagers are so fickle and changing all the time, at the moment it seems to be all about Twilight.”
Mitchell also said TV Hits differed to the more profile PBL magazine, TV Week.
“TV Week’s quite different to us I think,” she said. “We’re an all-round entertainment mag, so because we do a lot of focus on music and movies, TV is just one section.
“It used to have competition with Smash Hits which is no longer around, but we’ve found readers want variety.
“We’re working on a couple of editorial initiatives at the moment that I can’t reveal at this time. And working to improve our online presence at the moment too because that’s really important. There’s so many gossip blogs and entertainment blogs. But we have our website which supports the magazines with the different sections.”
Despite being a Pacific magazine, and part of Seven Media, Mitchell says the magazine still seeks to cover shows from other networks.
“Obviously we have a great working relationship with Seven, but we work hard to build up the relationships and our commercial alignment does provide good access for us. But each story is judged on individual merit. We’re not going to favour their shows over any others.
“We work really well with all the television publicists.”
The 21st anniversary edition, with features on Twilight’s Kristen Stewart, Short Stack, and Katy Perry is on sale now.