Inside Sunday Life: The pulse of Fairfax’s weekend papers

Magazine queen Pat Ingram: ‘We are about celebrating women and their achievements.’

Fairfax Media’s newspaper inserted magazine Sunday Life is unashamedly female focused. Editorial director Pat Ingram gave it this direction soon after she joined the title in 2011.

“The readers of Sunday Life are slightly mature women, who are 40+. They are extremely well educated,” she told Mediaweek. “Fifty-five percent of our women are in the AB quintile, so she is affluent.

“We are about celebrating women and their achievements.”

Pat Ingram

This is what makes Sunday Life unique compared to other the newspaper-inserted magazines in the market, Ingram said. One of its biggest competitors is News Corp’s Stellar magazine, which is circulated inside The Daily Telegraph (Sydney), Herald Sun (Melbourne) and The Courier-Mail (Brisbane). “We have a different approach from Stellar. We are more restrained and aim for a different audience,” Ingram said. “Stellar is more generalist.”

The most recent edition of Sunday Life featured Australian designer and new mother Camilla Franks on the cover for Mother’s Day. On the day of Mediaweek’s chat with Ingram, she’d be in and out of meetings. The busy day included making changes to the cover story of the then-upcoming issue. “She announced this morning that she has got breast cancer,” Ingram said. “We were trying to see how we could mention it somewhere.”

Sunday Life is circulated inside the weekend editions of The Age in Melbourne and The Sydney Morning Herald in Sydney. “Approximately 70% of the people who buy both the papers also read the magazine,” Ingram said.

She described Sunday Life as a premium print product with a strong digital footprint.

“Each week our strongest stories run under the Lifestyle vertical of the Fairfax mastheads (SMH, The Age, WA Today, Brisbane Times and The Canberra Times). We also connect with our dedicated Instagram followers (27,000+) by showcasing our inspiring fashion spreads, recipes and interior ideas.”

In the 12 months to March 2018, the readership for Sunday Life dropped by 11.6% to 695,000.

Despite the doom and gloom picture painted about print industry, Ingram said the medium is still appealing to advertisers and readers today. This is evident by the increase in the number of gloss and/or themed issues of Sunday Life produced last year. “I have always been passionate about print. In particular with a weekend print product, there are a lot of opportunities still there,” Ingram said. “The life of print is still pretty healthy.”

CV: Pat Ingram

The current editorial director of Sunday Life started her career in the media industry in New Zealand. After moving to Australia, she edited titles like Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar at ACP Magazines (now Bauer Media). She later worked across ACP’s slate of women’s titles as a publishing director.

Ingram initially joined Fairfax Media in 2011 as the editorial director of Sunday Life and Good Weekend, then later shifted her focus to the former.

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