Now is a funny time to launch a print magazine in general, but especially one for men about style. Mogue couldn’t survive the recession, while other men’s titles, like Details and GQ, suffered layoffs. Struggles in men’s media are ongoing in the U.K., where analysts recently noted that the target thirtysomething male audiences are reading more and more stuff online instead of in print. More upscale titles like Esquire and GQ seem to be bouncing back, which is probably why Bauer Media has decided to launch their new men’s title at the upper end of the market, even though manly men’s fashion titles are notoriously difficult to pull off. Bauer, which publishes gossip and fashion title Grazia, is calling this new magazine Project Rex.
The magazine will focus on news and style, come out October 26, and is aimed at men in their thirties, who will presumably be drawn to something called … Project Rex. However, Project Rex may just be a working title; a source told the Financial Times that the magazine would be called Gazzetta, but Bauer hasn’t commented. If they’re still mulling it over, we would urge them not to call it Project Rex or Gazzetta. Wordplay is fun, but Project Rex sounds like a silly children’s dino-zine, while Gazzetta sounds like the outcome of a room full of suits sitting at a conference table for too long with no seltzer.
Former Spin and Blender editor Andrew Pemberton is helming the new magazine, which Bauer will launch in bundles with some of its other magazines like Grazia and Golf World, and hand out at stores like Topman and Reiss in the U.K. Bauer’s CEO explained that they want to create a new brand “with a strong magazine at its core.” This Project Rex Gazzetta thing launches around the same time as Bauer-owned invitation-only designer-sale website Cocosa’s men’s division launches. Of course they could use the new magazine to drive sales to this website. Then again, online sample sales are another notoriously difficult thing to get men to spend their money on.