Finalists were selected by Hearst Magazines editors-in-chief, executive editors, creative directors, design directors and site directors, with winners chosen by a panel of judges comprised of Hearst Magazines President David Carey; Editorial Director Ellen Levine; Vice President, Talent Acquisition Eliot Kaplan; and Kate Lewis, vice president, editorial director, Hearst Magazines Digital Media; along with media professionals Christene Barberich, editor-in-chief and founding partner of Refinery29; Dorothy Kalins, founding editor-in-chief of Metropolitan Home and Saveur and David Zinczenko, founder and CEO of Galvanized Media and former editor-in-chief of Men’s Health.
The awards, which recognize the previous year’s most original, engaging and thought-provoking content, were presented by Carey, Levine, Kaplan and Troy Young, president of Hearst Magazines Digital Media.
“The Editorial Excellence Awards give us the opportunity to step back and celebrate the extraordinary work our editors are doing,” Carey said. “The richness and the range of material is truly breathtaking, and it was a challenge for the judges to select the winners. Our content is sought out and embraced by millions of readers, and it is my honor and pleasure to thank our teams for all that they do to inform, inspire and innovate.”
The awards themselves are specially commissioned sculptures, composed of interlocking triangles that form a collection of stars, echoing the glass façade of Hearst Tower. Finalists for all categories may be found on Hearst.com, and the winners are:
Special Interest, Fashion, Beauty, Food, Travel, Home Design and Decorating: HGTV Magazine, Paint Special Section, June 2014
HGTV Magazine, the brand that loves a good makeover, shared advice and colorful images in a 22-page section that encourages readers to refresh their homes with paint. From tackling the trickiest aspects of DIY in “Take the Pain out of Painting,” to HGTV stars’ favorite hues, this special section is packed with practical tips and ideas that inspire.
Special Interest, Health, Self-Improvement, Personal Relationships, Careers, Technology and Automotive: O, The Oprah Magazine,“Ready or Not: The Caregivers Guide,” November 2014
This National Magazine Award-winning section was recognized again for its thoughtful take on the challenge, stress and gratification of caring for aging parents. The 18-page package is a uniquely “O” mix of service and soul, sharing the stories of writers’ own poignant experiences alongside information and advice on paperwork, finances and healthcare. This sensitive feature gives readers a way to rethink the scenario, and their letters of gratitude poured in.
Public Interest: Marie Claire,“Revolution on Sorority Row” by Kayla Webley, September 2014
This impactful piece reports on the University of Alabama sorority system. In 2013, student outcry over segregation in campus sororities made the front page of Alabama's college newspaper, and spurred some change, with 21 African American women joining sororities in an informal “rush.” Marie Claire gave the story a national voice, speaking with sorority women who revealed conversations and traditions that thwarted integration in their houses. The story’s publication renewed pressure, and soon after, for the first time in the history of sororities at Alabama, every African American woman who participated in formal rush was offered a bid.
Regular Section or Department: Redbookmag.com, The Truth about Trying
In 2014, Redbookmag.com relaunched a campaign that first appeared in the magazine’s pages, in which real women and celebrities shared their personal struggles to help erase the stigma of infertility. To offer kinship, information and connection to women affected by impaired fertility, Redbookmag.com featured weekly blog posts by writer Jen Jones Donatelli, who chronicled her own emotional journey and those of other women. Her thoughts, experiences and observations resonated deeply with readers, and the upfront, yet sensitive way Redbookmag.com has covered this difficult topic has brought it out into the light.
Design: Harper’s BAZAAR, March & September 2014
Harper’s BAZAAR’s distinctive design has been recognized and honored with accolades from across the industry, including as a finalist at this year’s National Magazine Awards. The brand’s elegant, iconic Didot type is offset with dramatic flair through bold shaped text and unexpected details, as in the headline of March’s cover story on Lady Gaga, in which the type reprises the lace pattern of the singer’s dress.
Photography: Harper’s BAZAAR, March & September 2014
Harper’s BAZAAR’s images are bold, inventive and evocative, from cover to cover. Indelible pop portraits, artist-created photo illustrations: Harper’s BAZAAR constantly surprises. The year’s highlights included a portfolio of Audrey Hepburn’s granddaughter Emma Ferrer, photographed by Richard Avedon’s grandson, Michael, and a series of designer portraits by artist Takashi Murakami, his first-ever foray into portraiture.
Best Use of Social Media: CountryLiving.com
With an authentic voice and a content mix that speaks directly to the interests of its audience, CountryLiving.com has cultivated a passionate, responsive and growing community. Before and after photos, reinventing the Mason jar, the tiny home movement with more than 50 percent of CountryLiving.com’s social media audience actively engaged with the brand, its social platforms are buzzing with conversation. On Facebook, a staggering 77 percent 1.6 million are liking, sharing and commenting, garnering far more engagement than any competitor in the home and lifestyle category.
Video of the Year: Cosmopolitan.com, Cats & Abs
The title of this video says it all: With an original song sung by shirtless hunks to three adorable kittens (which were available for adoption!), this video is a playful anthem for two of Cosmo.com’s favorite things. Was it the cats, the abs or the lyrics like “Fancy Feast/chest, abs, obliques,” that made this video a hit? Cosmo.com’s engaged audience has watched it 400,000 times and has weighed in on it all.
Story of the Year: Esquire,“The Abortion Ministry of Dr. Willie Parker” by John H. Richardson, September 2014
This profile of one of the last three abortion clinics operating in Alabama shed light on the real human costs of laws designed to make it increasingly difficult for such clinics to remain open. The piece was published the week that a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to at least temporarily order enforcement of the law that would close Parker’s clinic, making “The Abortion Ministry of Dr. Willie Parker” a timely and illuminating contribution to the public conversation.
Cover of the Year: Food Network Magazine, Holiday Triple Cover Gatefold, December 2014
For demonstrating how creativity and imagination can lead to a deeper relationship with marketers, and a delightful experience for readers, Food Network Magazine was recognized for its December 2014 cover, which thoughtfully integrated the magazine’s holiday sweets into Kohl’s campaign.
Innovation of the Year (Digital): HarpersBazaar.com #TheList
Inspired by Harper’s BAZAAR’s print section of the same name, #TheList demonstrates dramatically how online and print can complement each other completely and help each other thrive. #TheList is an authoritative, up-to-the-minute edit of style, shopping, beauty, culture and the best dressed all in a shoppable, sharable countdown format that reads easily on smartphones and tablets. #TheList offers a once-a-week native advertising opportunity as well as an edit from ShopBAZAAR. A reader favorite, #TheList boasts more than 60,000 social shares to date.
Innovation of the Year (Print): Cosmopolitan Fun Fearless Life Weekend
The Fun Fearless Life Weekend at the David Koch Theater in Lincoln Center wasn’t just for the guests in attendance. Its highly interactive online content allowed the weekend to be experienced by tens of thousands more across the country, and led to 17,000 social media mentions. With 44 speakers, including Kelly Osbourne, Gabrielle Union and Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, the event inspired readers to put Cosmopolitan’s life advice into action. Partners Maybelline New York and Express were integrated seamlessly into the programming, offering fun and valuable experiences for attendees.
About Hearst Magazines
Hearst Magazines (hearst.com) is a unit of Hearst Corporation (hearst.com), one of the nation's largest diversified media and information companies. With 21 titles in the U.S., Hearst is the leading publisher of monthly magazines in terms of total paid circulation (AAM 2H 2014), reaching nearly 81 million readers in print (Fall 2014 MRI gfk) and 44 million site visitors each month (comScore). In addition, the company publishes close to 300 editions around the world. Hearst Magazines Digital Media includes 18 websites for brands such as Cosmopolitan, Popular Mechanics, ELLE, ELLE DECOR, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Marie Claire and Seventeen, as well as digital-only sites such as Delish.com. Hearst Magazines has published more than 150 apps and digital editions for the iOS and Android platforms. The company also includes iCrossing, a global, full-service digital marketing agency.