August 29, 2008

Women’s Health Launches First-Ever Celebrity Cover With “W” Star Elizabeth Banks in October 2008 Issue

Women's Health Editorial Director David Zinczenko today announced the selection of "W" star Elizabeth Banks as Women's Health's first-ever celebrity cover, for the October 2008 issue. The introduction of celebrity covers coincides with a series of art and editorial enhancements that Zinczenko says are designed to drive home the healthy, active lifestyle that Women's Health has come to represent.

"Elizabeth Banks is the perfect star to usher in the new era at Women's Health," Zinczenko said. "From Seabiscuit to Spiderman 3, everything she does is a success. And that goes for Women's Health as well."

Banks says she was impressed by what the magazine stands for. "It's an honor to be the first celebrity on the cover of Women's Health," she said. "The emphasis this magazine puts on leading an active, healthy, and exciting life perfectly reflects my beliefs! Women's Health is substance with style, by promoting positive body image no matter who you are."

"The incredible power of the Women's Health brand continues to exceed everyone's expectations--in January, we will raise the rate base yet again, to 1,350,000," said Vice President and Women's Health Publisher Mary Murcko. "Dave's success at building brands on the page and beyond will serve us well as we grow from a successful magazine to a multiplatform global healthy women lifestyle brand."

"We are moving quickly to expand the Women's Health brand's global platform, and a celebrity cover is just the beginning," said Zinczenko. "Men's Health is already the world's leading men's magazine. We are excited to implement the same global growth strategy for Women's Heath, too. We see tremendous opportunities for the brand not only internationally, but, like Men's Health, also across books, subscription services, and other digital properties."

Rodale also announced that Women's Health VP/Editor-in-Chief Tina Johnson will be leaving Women's Health.

"Four years ago, I took on a challenge that has proven successful beyond everyone's best expectations," said Johnson. "Launching the magazine, companion online site, and this entirely new brand and leading it on its meteroic rise through this incredibly competitive market has been a terrific experience--and an unprecedented achievement. I couldn't have done any of it without the great team at Women's Health. As much as I've enjoyed the ride, I'll be looking ahead to new challenges and opportunities in this rapidly changing marketplace."

Under Johnson's leadership, Women's Health has become one of the fastest growing magazines in the country since it launched in October 2005. Advertising revenues and pages are up a remarkable 90% and 24%, respectively, over 2007, and the magazine will raise its rate base to 1.35 million with the January/February 2009 issue--the fifth rate base increase in the magazine's history. Single copy sales of the magazine are up 11% compared to the first half of last year, as filed with the Audit Bureau of Circulations, subject to audit. In recognition of the magazine's success, Adweek named Women's Health to the No. 1 spot on its annual "10 Under 50" Hot List this year.

"We're grateful to Tina for her tremendous accomplishments at the helm of Women's Health. She set the original voice and editorial direction that has driven its tremendous success, and formed the foundation for a new stage of its development," said Zinczenko.

Rodale will seek a replacement for Johnson in the coming months.