Hachette drives mag into TV

Publisher steering more titles to small screen

NEW YORK — Hachette Filipacchi Magazines has doubled its commitment to extend magazines into television with the announcement that Car and Driver will fuel a full season of half-hour Car and Driver Television shows.

Hachette’s first foray into TV was with Woman’s Day, which originated its show, hosted by Phyllis George, on the recently launched Pax TV.

“The show and the network came out of the box better than anyone expected,” said Michael Berman, president and chief operating officer of Hachette Prods. “That we’re taking a second hugely successful Hachette brand and putting it on TV shows we are very serious about this.”

Berman, a co-founder of Hachette’s George magazine before he took his current position, acknowledged that Hachette was in discussions for taking additional titles to TV. “Elle is most likely next,” he said.

Car and Driver Television, slated for a Jan. 2 premiere on TNN, will be produced by Nashville-based RTM Prods. and will air three times a weekend.

The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based magazine recently announced an increase in its rate base to 1.35 million, which makes it the circulation leader among auto-enthusiast titles. TNN, a CBS Cable Network, reaches more than 71 million cable households in the U.S. and 5.7 million in Canada.

Car and Driver Television will closely follow its namesake’s editorial content, going so far as to include editors from the magazine in each of the first 26 segments.

An obviously enthused Csaba Csere, Car and Driver’s editor-in-chief, said of the magazine’s extension to TV: “Hearing an engine’s rumble, watching tire-shredding acceleration, and observing a vehicle swallow passengers and luggage will let us bring our viewers along as we enjoy and evaluate the broad range of vehicles on the American road.”

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