Media executives occasionally say that their companies are like a startup — however in the example of This Old House, that’s actually kind of authentic, because Time Inc. marketed the 40-year-old brand (best known for the home improvement TV show of the same name) into Eric Thorkilsen and TZP Growth Partners less than two decades ago.
Thorkilsen, who now serves as CEO of This Old House Ventures, has a history with the brand. He said that it’s actually gone through multiple spans of reinvention and “startup thinking” — like when Time started the print magazine in 1995, or when it obtained the show out of public TV station WGBH in 2001 (both initiatives which Thorkilsen headed). And it’s happening again, as it’s spun out as a different media organization, and since it launches it first digital-only property, House One.
&ldquo ;We can build on that kind of startup attitude and culture at the manner that we consider this brand which’s about to turn 40,” Thorkilsen said. “In what ways can we build it and rebuild it and renovate and add to it which will give it still more growth opportunities moving forward? ”
House One established its social networking channels a couple of months ago, together with the website going live today. The purpose is to achieve a younger audience of millennials — both tenants and first-time homeowners that are in need of any guidance, as well as more serious DIY craftspeople.
To direct the effort, Thorkilsen hired someone else with a true connection to This Old House — Jennifer Largesse, who served as a writer and producer for the magazine prior to joining About.com and eventually launching her very own woodworking website Build Basic.
While there’so plenty of instructional home improvement content already online, Largesse contended that it tends to be gimmicky and shallow, while House One will be distinguished by its own thickness: “nobody is offering the directions that these homeowners are in search of. ”
So not only does House One offer detailed instructions on matters like cleaning a dishwasher or construction a floating shelf — it also has project files and what Largesse known “cornerstone articles” this helps less experienced readers figure out how to use tools and learn other essential skills.
House One is broken into various channels, each hosted by someone who’s built an audience for DIY content. So Largesse is the face of job and application tutorials, while Aaron Massey (sponsor of that the Mr. Fix It station on YouTube) is the sponsor for home repairs and upgrades and Kirsten Grove of Only Grove is handling design documents.
“We’re a community of makers who exist in the digital space,” Largesse said. And should you’re a fan of the job that these hosts do elsewhere, that’s not going to prevent “Our articles creators will continue with their own brands. That’s why we chose them in the first place, since they had this awesome thing happening. We don’t want to replace this, we just want to be part of it. ”
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