media | Sep 17, 2020 |
Galerie leaves Sandow, partners with Aspire

Come the new year, Galerie will have a new home. Business of Home has learned that the art and design publication left its management agreement with Sandow Media at the end of August and is set to form a partnership with Aspire One Communications, the publishing company behind Aspire Design and Home and a range of custom magazines for design centers and brands.

The new partnership will take effect January 1, 2021. Galerie’s spring issue will be the first published under the new arrangement.

For Galerie, the move is an opportunity to start fresh with a new partner. The magazine, founded in New York in 2016 by husband-and-wife duo James and Lisa Cohen, was originally launched and operated through Hudson Publishing, a venture born from James Cohen’s family business, Hudson News. A year later, the Cohens—longtime art collectors and design enthusiasts—formed an agreement with Sandow in which the media conglomerate was to handle the operations and logistics side of the business, while Galerie maintained its own editorial operations.

In the years since, the media business has become an increasingly tough environment—even before the coronavirus pandemic led to the mass slashing of marketing budgets throughout the industry.

Lisa Cohen, who maintains a role as the editorial director of Galerie, says that the deal with Aspire is an opportunity to explore new ways to bring in revenue at a time when print advertising is on the decline. “It’s [about] having a sales team dedicated to my title that understands our brand, and having a company that can run the business side,” she tells BOH. “It’ll be a different, fresh marketing approach, with a multiplatform plan to make revenue.”

For Aspire, the new partnership is a relatively low-friction way to bring a luxury title on board. “The brand is phenomenal. The magazine is phenomenal. I see a big future in it,” says Steven Mandel, CEO of Aspire, which is based in Cornwall, New York. “We have the desire to continue to grow—we’re looking at other titles right now. Entering into a partnership [with Galerie] was the most natural thing that could have ever happened; they bring a lot to the table.”

Mandel emphasizes that the new partnership will be very much that: a partnership. “Our intent with Galerie is to deploy our sales team and their existing sales team and give both teams another brand to work with. That creates a strong efficiency for our advertisers,” he says. The two companies are also planning to host hybrid showhouse/galleries that bring Galerie’s art world expertise to Aspire’s portfolio of “traditional” designer showhouses.

Galerie also brings a strong digital team to the mix, says Mandel, as well as expansion into e-commerce (Cohen recently hired an alum from now-defunct digital auction house Paddle8 to helm an initiative to sell art through its website).

In the coming months, the magazine will leave Sandow’s building on Park Avenue and move into the offices owned by James Cohen on Seventh Avenue, while administration will run out of Aspire’s existing offices in the Hudson Valley. Cohen says the team will remain intact and the brand’s editorial mission remains unchanged.

In a statement, Sandow Media chairman and CEO Adam Sandow said: “We wish Lisa Cohen, [editor in chief] Jacqueline Terrebonne, and their team much success at Aspire. We look forward to seeing how the brand evolves moving forward.”

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