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Spectator to launch US print magazine year after going transatlantic online

Spectator US

The Spectator is set to launch a print edition in the United States for the first time, one year after unveiling a new website aimed at North American readers.

The first monthly print edition of Spectator US will appear on newsstands in October with its usual focus on politics, lifestyle, culture and travel.

The UK-based 191-year-old weekly news magazine will charge US subscribers $7.99 a month for access to its print and digital product.

The Spectator launched its US website in March last year, with USA editor Freddy Gray saying the title, then run from the magazine’s London office, would not be “crazily for or crazily against” President Donald Trump.

Gray told Press Gazette the success of the US website prompted the decision expand into print, with average 20 per cent month-on-month traffic growth.

“We regularly do 1m users a month and the thing that we’re most pleased about is the users with five-plus visits, which is growing,” he said.

Gray added: “The plan was always to move into America. But I think the higher powers were very pleased at how the website has gone and we’re confident in print. We believe in print even at a time when people don’t.”

However the US magazine will be primarily aimed at subscribers, appearing only on select newsstands in New York and Washington DC.

The US print edition will be “about a 60/40 split” between unique US content and “US-apt” content from the UK edition, according to Gray.

The two editions will have different cover features to ensure the US product is “different and unique,” Gray added.

“I see it as a kind of compendium of the best of the best of the UK Spectator plus lots of US stuff.”

Gray said the magazine is currently staffed by seven editors and writers, mostly based in Washington DC with a life and arts editor working from Boston and managing editor in New York.

It also has five columnists on retainer and Gray said it is “bringing in lots of great US contributors”.

The magazine’s US publisher is Zack Christenson, the former chief executive of data analytics firm Crowdskout and current boss of Steamship Diplomats, which works with media and tech firms on strategy and product development.

Parties will be hosted in New York and DC to mark the magazine’s print launch, while events will remain a key part of the Spectator US product.

Gray said: “Events at this stage are embryonic. I think in the future we hope to have as many events as we do in the UK.”

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