Spate of new women's magazines set to hit shelves after industry handed a lifeline

A group of women who were made redundant after the closure of Bauer Media New Zealand in the first lockdown have had their careers resurrected.

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They’re launching four new magazines by the end of the year, with the first to hit shelves tomorrow. Source: 1 NEWS

Amongst the 200 people at Bauer was Sido Kitchin, former editor-in-chief to all of the major women's magazines, whose career spans 15 years.

"I got a phone call one day... and was offered this opportunity to start four new fresh mags and the time felt so right, I couldn't quite believe it at the time, actually," she told 1 NEWS.

That phone call was from someone passionate about magazines, disheartened to see so many female voices ending up as part of the Covid-19 job fatalities.

Being appointed editor-in-chief of the magazine meant being able to hire a group of her old colleagues, something Kitchin says she was most ecstatic about.

"I got to pick up the phone and ask lots of wonderfully talented young women to come on this adventure with me.

"But for me it's not just this amazing team that I have 20 women on staff here at the magazine, it's also the whole ecosystem that goes around the magazines, the photographers, make-up artists, stylists and writers," she told 1 NEWS.

One of her employees is Georgia Bews, who says working back in publishing has been a lifeline.

"It was such a shellshock to be honest," she says.

Four new magazines will be released by the end of the year; Haven, Thrive, Scout and Woman, with the first to hit the shelves on Monday.

Kitchin says after finding out women made up 10,000 of the 11,000 job losses following Covid-19, she knew she wanted a fresh direction for the magazine. 

"Woman is a space where I want New Zealand women to be uplifted, celebrated. I think right now we're not looking for that type for escapism. 

"I strongly believe in this profound year of change that we're looking for connection, a sense of community, I think we're looking into this beautiful country of New Zealand we're so grateful to call home."

Communications Senior Lecturer at AUT Louise Matthews says women's magazines play a vital role in society.

"It's been shown by academic research that this is a key role to play in alerting women to health issues, health checks and general wellness," she told 1 NEWS.

Matthews says launching a new magazine is the easy part - the real test is gaining readership.