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Are Magazines Like Top Chef The Future Of Journalism?

mbcircus3.jpgFishbowlNY managing editor Rebecca Fox moderated a panel this afternoon about integrated partnerships and multiplatform marketing and publicity deals in the media world. If you’re uncertain what kind of deals would fall under this umbrella, a good example is the partnership between Bravo‘s “Top Chef” reality cooking competition and food magazine Food & Wine.

Ellen Stone, Bravo’s SVP of marketing, told the Mediabistro Circus audience that the cable channel works closely with Food & Wine to promote both brands: Gail Simmons, who works for the magazine, appears on “Top Chef” as a judge, and the magazine, which is published by American Express Publishing, covers the show on its edit pages. The two are even working together to create a “Top Chef” magazine, Stone said.

Other panelists, Chuck Cordray and Tom Smith of Hearst Digital, Steve Rosenbaum, the CEO of Magnify.net, and NYMag.com GM Michael Silberman also discussed deals they have worked on recently and things they seek out in partners.


“If we’re going to target a particular market, we spend a lot of time thinking, ‘Are we going to buy, are we going to build or are we going to partner?’” Cordray said.

Each panelist stressed the importance of pairing with other companies that could offer benefits in some way. For example, NYMag.com partnered with Magnify.net because it offered superior web video technology, Silberman said.

In today’s market, the panelists said they are approached more than ever with ideas about new deals. But more options don’t necessarily mean more deals.

“You can’t work on too many deals at a time,” Smith said. “It depends how important each deal is to growing your business.”

“Brand is everything,” Stone agreed. “You’re going to push your brand as far as it can go, but you don’t want to take it too far. So you’re going to go through all the channels to make sure that this isn’t going to hurt you in some way.”

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