mce_keep=”true”Bravo!, published by href=”http://www.newmediapub.co.za/index.asp” target=_blank mce_href=”http://www.newmediapub.co.za/index.asp”New Media Publishing and Bravissimo Publishing, covers visual and performing arts.
Karen Meiring, the former Managing Director of the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK) and a member of the a cappella group Cutt Glas, is the magazine’s business manager.
The Editor, Carien Loubser, is a Communications graduate from the former Potchefstroom University (now the North-West University) who has among other things worked for arts festivals and women’s magazine Rooi rose.
Bravissimo Publishing is a partnership between Meiring and Loubser.
Loubser says Bravo!, which has a cover price of R29.95, will initially only be published in Afrikaans. The possibility, however, exists to eventually also publish an English version.
The title, which refers to “applauding excellence in the performing arts”, was chosen partly because it is would also make sense to an English reader.
The print order for the first edition is 20,000.
Loubser says the response from advertisers has been positive. “We sold almost 20 ads for the first edition based on the concept.”
She says the magazine does not compete directly with any other title. “That is why we started it. There is no (other) arts and entertainment magazine.”
Asked why she thinks the time is right to launch a new magazine while economic conditions have forced big print companies to close magazine titles in recent months, including New Media and Media24’s Insig, Loubser says Bravo!‘s target market has been ignored for several years.
“Look at how many festivals have been established since the launch of the KKNK (in 1994). There are now between five to eight festivals per month.”
Ticket sales at the biggest festivals total more than 100,000 each.
Loubser says the absence of an arts and entertainment magazine in this context would be the same as having an event like Decorex, which is attended by thousands and supported by big corporations, but no dÃƒÂ©cor magazines.
She says Bravo! could serve as a tool to leverage existing arts sponsorships.
Comments Irna van Zyl, editorial director of New Media Publishing: “When we were approached by Karen Meiring and Carien Loubser, we were very excited about the possibility of getting involved with such a project because we have a lot of experience with ‘cultural’ magazines like De Kat and Insig (on the editorial and advertising sales side)…
“I do think the magazine (Bravo!) is more focused on cultural activities than Insig was or De Kat is. Only time will tell if there is enough ‘woema’ (energy/power) and money in the market for such a magazine to survive in the long term.”
Van Zyl says the magazine has been received with “great enthusiasm”.
According to Loubser, it will focus on good news about the industry, but not to the detriment of objectivity.
“Some people say theatre is dead. In this edition, for example, we asked Marianne Thamm to investigate (the issue), but we did not tell her to make it look good.”
Bravo! will be sold at news agents including Exclusive Books and CNA. Those who would like to subscribe, but cannot get hold of a copy of the magazine, can contact href=”mailto:email@example.com” mce_href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”email@example.com.
Ã¢Â–Â This is an updated version of the story first published on TheMediaOnline. Van Zyl’s comments were added.