This might be the biggest news of the entire Newfronts — Reader’s Digest is no longer old. In fact, Reader’s Digest, whose parent company took on a new name — Trusted Media Brands, Inc. (TMBI), has undergone a transformation and is aging down, a move not too dissimilar from fellow publisher Playboy, which also presented on the last day of the Newfronts.
“Reader’s Digest, the brand, continues to be very strong with consumers, with high engagement,” said CRO Rich Sutton, who noted the overall portfolio of media brands housed under TMBI have grown to reach over 56 million readers monthly, a number that marks 20% audience growth from last year. Reader’s Digest is recognized by 99% of American adults.
And to match that appetite, TMBI, is following suit with an expanded focus on video, and its first Newfronts as a coming out party to the market.
“NewFronts is the ideal platform to showcase our capabilities and our new video series. Video remains an integral part of TMBI’s digital-first strategy and gives our ad partners a new way to tap into our fan base,” said Sutton, about their agenda. And for the first presentation, TMBI’s message was on point. They showcased a slate of programs and peppered the discussion with ways brands can benefit from the affiliation with their brands. Rather than presenting “ideas,” Sutton said “we actually put our money where our mouth is” showing the room a modest, but strong, slate of shows, six in total across three of its marquee brands — Reader’s Digest, Taste of Home, and The Family Handyman.
For Reader’s Digest, an edu-health series “Live Better with Liz!” hosted by Liz Vaccariello, the effervescent and best-selling author, who also is the publication’s Editor-at-Large; and a listicle video series called “Everyday Genius” that aims to help viewers tap into their inner genius. TMBI also presented two food programs for Taste of Home — video recipe series “America the Tasty” and food crafting series “Fun with Food” hosted by Taste of Home Test Kitchen experts Mark Hagen and Lauren Knoelke. Lastly comes a DIY home series from television host George Beavers (“Mix It Up”), “Fix-It George,” for The Family Handyman.
TMBI also showcased heart-wrenching, tear-jerker “Healing Spaces,” a six-episode interior design series that organizes extreme room makeovers for children in need, many of which are suffering from or survivors of various illnesses.
While the presentation attendance was as one might expect from the last day of a daunting two week conference stacked with presentations, Trusted Media Brands delivered on par with many of the other more seasoned presenters.