Who magazine has delivered premium celebrity news and entertainment to Australian women since 1992. The weekly magazine is edited by Stacey Hicks, who has been at Pacific Magazines for over eight years working across a number of titles; currently editor of Who and Girlfriend. Hicks told Mediaweek about the brand’s readership, recent editorial highlights, and how they pick and choose celebrity stories for their avid readers.
Hicks said she has grown up with Who and has loved the magazine her whole life. “It’s a privilege to be able to edit the title,” said Hicks. “Who has a unique credibility because of our strong relationship with celebrities. It means we can deliver trusted, exclusive content across our platforms. The Who reader is an affluent and intelligent woman. She’s between 25 – 54 years old, she’s very educated and discerning. She’s interested in current affairs, travel, and the latest beauty and fashion news, and she also wants to know what happens in the celebrity world. She gets the best of both.”
“Something interesting we found is that 96% of our audience is the main household decision-maker and we have the same amount of AB consumers as Vogue, Harper’s BAZAAR and Elle combined. It’s a huge audience.
Who’s readers are coming to the brand for entertainment but also for style and substance. “Who is essentially a glossy monthly mag in a weekly format, that’s what really sets us apart. We like to say Who is the most trusted celebrity news and entertainment brand with a total footprint of 2.1 million Aussie women (across all platforms).”
The title is also known for the premium photoshoots and exclusives they have like “Who’s sexiest people’ which came out recently. Hicks said that’s definitely a big highlight for their audience. This year, the brand really mixed up for the format for that issue, and decided to feature ‘sexiest duos’. “We had couples like Guy and Jules Sebastian, we had siblings like Cody Simpson and his sister Alli, we did co-hosts like Larry Emdur and Kylie Gillies and we also had the first debut of Samantha Armytage and Richard Lavender. We really doubled up on the sexiness!
“We produced two covers as a part of that too – one of them had Guy and Jules Sebastian and the other had Megan Gale and Shaun Hampson. We had a really wonderful reception to that.”
Doing premium shoots does come at a cost, but that content is a part of its DNA and it’s what they’ve always been known for. “It’s important for us to maintain that because it’s what sets us apart in the market and really does place us as a weekly version of a glossy monthly, particularly given we’ve got that affluent audience.”
Hicks said they’re always expanding their commercial properties; they have their podcast ‘CelebriTEA’, as well as events. “We started a Books & Bubbles event earlier this year – a ticketed event with Hachette – where the audience can come and meet their favourite authors and share a glass of bubbles. It was kind of like our very own book club for the Who audience.
“We’ve already got five more events planned for next year because these ones have been selling out. It’s been a great highlight for us.”
Since there is so much celebrity news already out there, Hicks told Mediaweek that for Who it’s really about curating the content for their readers. “We have an amazing editorial team and they’ve constantly got their finger on the pulse for what our audience will want. We also have incredible access to celebrities, which does help us really make sure that we’re giving our readers the best of everything.
“In every issue we like to make sure that we’ve got a fantastic mix of exclusive celebrity interviews, true crime investigations and current affairs, beauty news, fashion spreads, information on new travel destinations; just making sure there is that mix so that our audience is getting everything they want and need in one spot. It’s important to us that we are as up-to-date as possible on everything we cover.”
Hicks said the combination of both domestic and international stars in Who’s stories are equally popular. “Australian talent really resonates with our audience and that’s why it’s really important we do exclusives with much-loved Australian celebrities. However, we’re also constantly securing interviews with Hollywood’s biggest names, like Reese Witherspoon, so we can give our audience the best of both worlds.”