On Monday, Crikey noted the amazing similarity between two News Limited glossy giveaways, theAdelaide magazine and Qweekend, and Fairfax’s the (sydney) magazine, the age (melbourne) magazine and Good Weekend.

But there also seems to be a similarity between the story of theAdelaide magazine, a giveaway with The Advertiser launched last week, and the saga over Melbourne magazine, the glossy launched by former Age editor-in-chief Steve Harris. His old paper has squashed him with its glossy giveaway and the mag is no more.

Back in the eighties, The Advertiser tried to cream off the AB ads from Christopher Pearson’s Adelaide Review with its Arts Monthly lift out. That flopped, but as the Review
has plunged into irrelevance, South Australia’s premium advertising has
ended up in a large size mega-glossy lifestyle monthly, SA Life, published by a former Advertiser managing editor and Queensland Newspapers editor-in-chief David Smith, founded at the end of 2003.

SA Life
is a premium product. Heavy paper stock, high quality printing – and at
$8.80 an issue pricey for the provinces. Still, it clearly delivers a
demographic. It’s chokkas with ads for premium real estate, along with
building and renovation products and services, homewares, food, fashion
and accessories and the like.

Now, the bi-monthly Adelaide magazine seems to be straying into SA Life territory. Announcing the Adelaide magazine back in May, The Advertiser
promised a magazine “planned to be at least 84 pages.” The first issue
came in at 66 pages, compared to 172 for the October issue of SA Life. Its editorial and advertising look like SA Life lite. The full colour glossy real estate ads aren’t there.

Still, it’s only issue one. The Advertiser dominates Adelaide’s media. The town has virtually no media diversity. The Adelaide Review has lost its way, while the 12-month-old Sunday broadsheet The Weekly Independent is still being given away with cappuccinos at a local café chain.

SA Life is a polished product – particularly for a small city – but will it go the way of Steve Harris’s Melbourne magazine?

Disclosure: Christian Kerr has worked for The Adelaide Review.

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