Switzer Media & Publishing has confirmed it will launch men’s fashion magazine Esquire into the Australian market, following its successful revival of Harper’s Bazaar in 2021.
“It was the success of Harper’s that led [Switzer founder] Alex Switzer to negotiate with our partner and publishing giant Hearst, to add the highly respected global title Esquire to our stable,” said publisher Maureen Jordan, who will oversee both Harper’s and Esquire.
Switzer Media and Publishing’s Maureen Jordan says the success of Harper’s Bazaar led the decision to launch Esquire.Credit:Switzer
Switzer Media, which is better known for its financial titles, as well as fashion magazine RUSSH, will unveil Esquire’s digital channels in mid-April.
“The first print edition will be on sale late May. There will be four print issues in 2023,” Switzer said.
“We believe in print and know from the experience with Harper’s Bazaar that demand is strong – from both a commercial partner and audience perspective. Our strategy for Esquire, however, is focused on scaling a multi-channel brand. It’s a substantial challenge and one we’re highly motivated to make a huge success. We have great people in our business who are so committed,” he said.
Switzer Media said they have finalised the recruitment process for the key positions required for the Esquire Australia launch, and will announce the team in coming weeks.
The publisher relaunched Harpers Bazaar in 2021, one year after its former publisher Bauer Media announced it was one of the titles that would not return to print after it was paused during the COVID-19 advertising plunge.
Bauer Media’s Brendon Hill cited the unprecedented impact of the pandemic and associated restrictions for the closures, which saw advertising spend plummeted by 40 per cent in May 2020.
“The latest Roy Morgan readership figure was higher than when the title left the market in 2021 at 150,000,” Jordan said of Harper’s success.
She says Harpersbazaar.com.au had more than a million unique users in January 2022, with about 60 per cent of this comprising local traffic.
“At the time, the digital component was so undeveloped, and that had appeal to us as well because while print is a passion for people like me, who’ve been involved in publishing for years, we saw a great opportunity to develop the digital side, which our team has done so well. And my company had formed a strong relationship with Hearst, who owns the global title,” Jordan said.
The success of the Harper’s launch will see the print publication deliver 12 issues this year, up from 10 in 2022.
Switzer said traditional distribution is still challenging, so a big focus is on ensuring the print product is in the right environments: Retail travel outlets, premium hotels, day spas and car dealerships.
“Esquire will have a similar approach,” Jordan said.
“As a smaller publisher, we’re agile. Our key partners only deal with decision makers who have full visibility on projects from start-to-finish.”
Esquire’s last appearance in Australia was in as an insert in Men’s Style, another publication which was axed by Bauer Media, in 2017.
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