Rizzi Named Publisher of New CBS Magazine

Apr 24, 2006  •  Post A Comment

CBS has named Michael Rizzi publisher of Watch!, the network’s quarterly entertainment magazine that debuted in February.

The second edition of the publication will come out just in time to give out copies to advertisers and agency representatives gathered for the network’s upfront week presentation on May 17.

Mr. Rizzi, who has been a sales executive for Time Inc.’s Entertainment Weekly, Conde Nast and Meredith, will oversee Watch! business activities and ad sales, which are headed by Rich Calacci in CBS Sales.

Mr. Rizzi will work with the CBS Communications Group, which developed the magazine and its custom publishing partner, McMurry Publishing. He will be based at CBS’s Black Rock headquarters in New York starting today.

The premiere issue of Watch! included 26 ad pages (with full-page color positions listed at $30,000). It had a press run of 400,000. Issues were distributed for free at CBS affiliates and CBS-owned stations, at CBS show tapings and at CBS gift shops.

The second edition, which also will be distributed at Paramount Parks this summer, is expected to be a similar size and have a 60/40 editorial-to-advertising split.

“It was profitable right out of the box. That’s job one for us. It has to be profitable,” said Gil Schwartz, the CBS corporate communications executive VP who also is Watch! editor in chief. Mr. Schwartz said ad sales had gone better than expected and that “significant” expansion is expected over the course of this year.

The second edition features an everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know cover story about “CSI” titled “‘CSI’: A to Z.” Other stories include a survey of CBS daytime villains and villainesses.