MEDIA PROFILE: VLife brings more variety to the lives of entertainment execs

While its big brother Variety offers news on Hollywood's ins and outs, VLife gives entertainment execs a look at how their peers live, zooming in on the passions of the Hollywood elite.

While its big brother Variety offers news on Hollywood's ins and outs, VLife gives entertainment execs a look at how their peers live, zooming in on the passions of the Hollywood elite.

Daily Variety is a Hollywood institution. Industry insiders regularly begin their day with the ritual reading of this bible of entertainment information. But while the paper covers the hard news of Los Angeles' most glamorous business, it hasn't covered the lifestyles of the people behind the deals. Until now, that is. VLife is a new magazine under the Variety brand, but with a completely fresh look and feel. It seeks to describe and document the lifestyles of its core industry readers. While other lifestyle titles may cater to urban demographics, VLife has a much narrower focus: the slim segment of Los Angeles and New York that lives and breathes the entertainment industry. "Our editorial mission is to serve our subscribers in a way they've never been served before," explains managing editor Tom Tapp. "What's different about it are the subscribers themselves. There is no other publication that specifically targets the people and passions of those who run the entertainment industry." While that mission certainly includes celebrity coverage (Renee Zellweger graced the inaugural cover), the book goes far beyond profiles of stars. It provides plenty of placement opportunities for travel, leisure, lifestyle, and electronics clients. The March issue, for example, features an Oscar Week Survival Guide packed with restaurants, spas, fashion, and even cosmetic-surgery tips. Articles included topics such as "Where to Flock for Kudos Detox," and "No Sweat: Botox Cures the Clammy Handshake." Feature articles included a piece on how the diamond industry used the Oscars' 75th, or diamond anniversary, as a marketing tool. VLife is also interested in covering off-screen entertainment personalities such as directors and dealmakers and even harder-to-promote clients such as party planners and makeup artists. "There are superstars behind the cameras as well, and some in the executives suites," Tapp points out. Those pitches are especially welcome if they include an interesting angle. For example, an upcoming article on Jerry Bruckheimer focuses on pick-up hockey games hosted by the Hummer-driving director. The April issue will also include a section called Night Shift, which features a director's night out on the town and an article about various poker games in the area. The magazine publishes six times a year, but is not bimonthly. Instead, it is timed to coincide with important Hollywood events and seasons. "It's kind of a strange schedule," explains Tapp. The premiere issue in March had an Oscar theme. A May issue, out in April, focuses on the Cannes Film Festival. In the summer, a traditionally quiet season for behind-the-scenes activity, the book is on hiatus. The fall issue highlights the Emmy awards, and an October issue will focus on fashion. In November, Hollywood hits high gear preparing for the Oscar season, and VLife will craft an issue around the preparations and campaigning leading up to the awards. Tapp and his staff are currently working on a tight turnaround time, but with the summer break in sight, there is a bit of breathing room to plan for the fall issues. "We put these first two issues together at a fairly rapid clip, and we found people to be pretty receptive - even to our tighter time schedules," he says. Tapp adds that in the future he will institute a longer lead time. But since the VLife offices are part of Variety, the book maintains a breaking-news sensibility that allows for quick editorial changes if necessary. "Being that we are in a newsroom, we're agile enough that if something great comes through, we can make room for it," Tapp says. Peter Bart, Variety's colorful editor-in-chief, also holds that title for VLife. The book is predominately written by freelancers for now, and pitches should be directed to Tapp or to style editor Anna Lisa Raya. Tapp prefers to be contacted by phone, but only with well-targeted ideas. He warns, "I'd rather have someone call and ask what VLife is about than to have someone pitch me something when they obviously haven't taken any time to see what we're about." ----- Contact list VLife Address 5700 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 120, Los Angeles, CA 90036 Tel (323) 965-4476 Fax (323) 857-0494 Editor-in-chief Peter Bart Executive editor Steven Gaydos Executive editor Elizabeth Guider Managing editor Tom Tapp Style editor Anna Lisa Raya

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