The Week is getting a taste of live events. Sunday, the small, punchy news digest launched its three-part event series, The Week Live, with a high-brow live cooking class and meal at the Michelin star restaurant Bâtard.
With only 400 spots, and a cost of $425 for an all-access pass, The Week Live isn’t built for market saturation. Instead, it’s the wave of a hand to advertisers and potential readers who don’t yet see the brand as a place to go for curated, tasteful cultural news.
“We wanted to really stretch our legs,” Ben Frumin, editor-in-chief of TheWeek.com, tells Folio:.
Tonight, attendees will visit Broadway to see Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, followed by a Q&A hosted by The Week’s managing editor, Carolyn O’Hara. On Thursday, guests will see a special screening of My Blind Brother along with a Q&A by Frumin himself.
It’s the live embodiment of a print magazine: recipes, restaurant reviews, and interviews with theater and Hollywood stars — brought away from the privileged world of the journalist, and made tangible for the magazine’s audience.
“We always want to think about our audience first,” Frumin says. “We have this tremendous magazine. It’s a little weird. It’s idiosyncratic. That’s why it’s so successful, the fact that it is different. So we really wanted it to be an experience where our audience was involved.”
While the team intends to make such events a fixture, Tara Mitchell, VP of marketing, says the current revenues will not significantly impact the company’s bottom line. And despite industry trends to the contrary, Frumin says the events are an addition to the magazine, not a supplement.
“We are never going to be an events-first business,” Frumin says. “But we do hope that going forward this will be a great business opportunity.”
As such, there is no dedicated events staff. The Week Live was organized under Nikki Ettore, integrated marketing director at The Week, and the events were curated by editorial leadership at the magazine, including Frumin.
“We are a scrappy and relatively small company and we all work on a lot of things. We take pride in that,” Frumin says. “We’re smaller than our competitors and we punch above our weight class.”
The Week has a rate base of 550,000, with 7.2 million monthly uniques on TheWeek.com. It’s a drop in the bucket when compared to a magazine like The New Yorker, with a rate base of 1,025,000, and its own competing events series, The New Yorker Festival, on October 7-9.
Nonetheless, it’s the quality of The Week’s readers which may just make The Week Live a successful endeavor.
“Still to this day, I’ll tell people where I work, and seven or eight out of ten will say, ‘What’s that?’ And the other two or three will say, ‘The Week is the best!” Frumin tells Folio:. “Our readers are straight up evangelical about the magazine, so we also want to serve these people who already love The Week.”