For well over a year, Michael Wollaeger had an idea brewing in his mind for a print magazine dedicated to the burgeoning art, design, architecture and fashion worlds of Los Angeles.
So when his vision aligned with the Los Angeles Times’ own interest in expanding its coverage in these categories, it seemed only natural for the pair to team up for DesignLA. The glossy premium edition is set to debut on May 21 with a second issue planned for the fall.
As former executive editor of Architectural Digest, the world’s leading design publication, and as a longtime resident of Los Angeles, Wollaeger brings a wealth of knowledge to his new role as editor-in-chief of DesignLA.
“Los Angeles, and really Southern California as a whole, is experiencing a development boom. At the same time, the city is coming into its own as a world-class center of arts and culture,” Wollaeger said. “We see DesignLA as a companion to the Times regular Saturday, Hot Property and Image sections—a seasonal reference for visionaries, trends and style resources—that readers can return to throughout the year, on their coffee tables and in their bookshelves.”
The magazine’s content will come from a blend of Times staff writers and contributing editors with features on a range of subjects such as residential and commercial architecture, landscape design, and profiles on individuals and institutions moving the art and fashion worlds forward.
Wollaeger said the team is planning for at least 150 pages and “a healthy editorial-to-advertising ratio.”
“There’s been strong interest from Times advertising clients, while agencies and businesses that haven’t advertised with paper before have also expressed interest as well,” he said. “The subject matter lends itself well to reaching an audience that’s particularly interested in the people, organizations and businesses that shape our home lives, collective environments and culture.”
By launching a specialty print product like DesignLA, Wollaeger is confident readers will want more and look to the Times to bring it to them.
“Newspapers are incredibly important today, perhaps now more than ever. Finding new ways to engage with readers is essential, given the current trends in the publishing industry,” Wollaeger said. “If we can create additional reasons for people to subscribe and more value for that subscription, it strengthens the paper as a whole. Plus, it also opens up new opportunities for advertisers.”