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‘Shark Tank’ Gives Boost to Latest Product: Itself

Oprah Winfrey has her own magazine. So do Dr. Oz, the Food Network and HGTV. Now the ABC program “Shark Tank” is the latest TV creation to test the concept.

Hearst Magazines, the publisher behind those aforementioned periodicals, is releasing a limited-edition “bookazine” celebrating a decade of the reality show in which young entrepreneurs hope to spark their fortunes by introducing a new product or service to a coterie of “sharks,” or bootstrapping business executives.  The group has included include billionaire Mark Cuban; real-estate mogul Barbara Corcoran; “Queen of QVC” Lori Greiner; technology innovator Robert Herjavec; fashion and branding expert Daymond John; and venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary.

Hearst is printing 210,000 copies of “Inside The Shark Tank,” says Jacqueline Deval, vice president and publisher of Hearst Books. The product will be available at retail stores and newsstands from November 27 until February 25.

Many magazine publishers dabble in this business, as anyone who has spotted a tribute to a famous author or musician from a popular magazine title on newsstands might tell you. Many of these publications use clips from magazines’ vast archives as the basis for the creation. Hearst commissioned original content to fill pages, and placed the spotlight on a media property with which it has not been previously aligned (Sony, however, is also the producer of Dr. Oz’s syndicated program and Hearst publishes his “Good Life” magazine).

“There are a lot of great takeaways from this magazine,” says Holly Jacobs, executive vice president of reality and syndication programming at Sony Pictures Television, the series’ producer, in an interview. “Even if you haven’t watched ‘Shark Tank,’ I think you’d be fascinated to hear about the trials and tribulations” of the entrepreneurs who flock to it.

The concept for the 100-page publication came from Hearst executives. Ryan D’Agostino, the editor in chief of Hearst’s Popular Mechanics, came up with the idea that spurred Hearst to approach Sony and ABC. “It’s driven by these six large chapters. Each one is about one of the Sharks – how they came up in the business world. their business philosophy, advice, tips for making a pitch or having a good idea. We had these really great anchor chapters and then we could pepper it with some interstitials from the first nine seasons,” he explained.

Hearst is printing 210,000 copies of the publication, says Jacqueline Deval, vice president and publisher of Hearst Books. The product will be available at retail stores and newsstands from November 27 until February 25.

Sony’s Jacobs says the company has some hopes that the special tribute might evolve into something more regular – a magazine that uses “Shark Tank” to explore business dreams. She says the show puts a spotlight on “mom-preneurs,” “kid-preneurs” and dozens of people whose products have now become easily recognizable brands and have created jobs for hundreds of people over ten years: “It would be great to describe everyday people and families who have had a dream to start a business from scratch.”


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