Chinese Edition of Elle Expands to Twice Monthly

By Steve Cohn

Effective with the Feb. 5, 2012 issue, Elle China doubled its frequency to twice monthly. The reason, says Hearst Magazines China managing director Mier Ai, is that the fashion title’s monthly format was averaging 500 to 800 pages. With the doubled frequency, the size is reduced to between 280 and 400 pages. The releases will be dated on the 5th and 20th of each month.

Hearst Corp. took over management of most of Hachette China on December 6, 2011, in a concluding phase of its 640 million Euros (currently about $841 million U.S.)  purchase of Lagardère SCA’s non-French magazine properties. The U.S. portion, with Hearst Magazines acquiring the former Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. (Elle, Road and Track, Woman’s Day, etc.) was completed on May 31, 2011.

Elle China becomes the second of the brand’s 44 editions to expand beyond a monthly. The first was the French Elle flagship (1945 launch), which has been a weekly for decades. It remains Lagardère-owned.

Elle China launched in 1988, just three years after the magazine’s U.S. debut and just 12 years after the death of Mao Zedong. Under his rule, "Red China" had been shrouded since 1949 by the "bamboo curtain."