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Susan Lyne’s Internet Experiment

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia CEO and president Susan Lyne told the crowd at the MPA Digital conference that people are now letting their magazine “brands” live online, when they were once wary of associating their crown jewels with a new and “raw” technology. “We’re doing our first totally blended experiment” with new mag Blueprint, she said.

“The model of launching new magazines is broken,” she continued, with very costly bulk mailings that get maybe three percent of recipients responding. By contrast, two-thirds of people who’ve signed up for Blueprint — a bimonthly that’s been published twice so far with what we’re told is a higher ad rate than flagship Martha Stewart Living — have come in through its Web site.

Lyne, on a panel with Dennis Publishing CEO Stephen Colvin and moderated by Larry Kramer, said the digital staff at MSO has grown from 25 to some 70 people since the start of the year, and Internet is a “big investment” that, like any of their investments, has to pay off relatively quickly.

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