It has been less than two years since US-based Business Week ceased publishing an Asian edition, citing the increased internet penetration for eroding circulation and advertising revenue. Now, a group of investors has put together more than HK$2 million to launch Review Asia, a regional monthly magazine operating on an outsourcing business model. Shortly after it hit newsstands this month with a cover price of HK$45, a European-based newspaper group expressed interest in partnering with the title and its parent company, Harrex Media, Review Asia editor Rex Aguado (below) told Media Eye last week. Review Asia debuted with 96 pages and was apparently well received by readers. Aguado, who was previously the South China Morning Post's international business news editor, said the magazine's initial print run of 30,000 copies had been almost all snapped up. To avoid the huge investment of a full-time editorial team, Review Asia has more than 50 contributors covering culture, business and people in the region. Editorial production, such as design and printing, is outsourced. The only full-time staff are about 10 people based in Hong Kong mainly in sales and marketing. 'We do want to have a local angle on Asian affairs, however, we don't want our magazine to be upmarket or targeting only intellectuals,' said Aguado. The magazine is distributed to Hong Kong book shops, hotels and airports and from September will also be available in Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo. 'We hope to enter new markets every two months. By the end of this year, the magazine will be sold in Southeast Asia and Australia. In March and April next year, the distribution network will cover Europe and the United States,' Aguado said. The next issue, which will hit the streets in June, will have about 150 pages, of which at least 25 per cent will be advertising. There will also be a 10-page special report for advertisers. The magazine also plans to launch four to five 100-page books a year on a variety of topics, such as fashion, investment banking and travel. 'We expect the magazine will break even by the end of next year - [but] if the advertising grows strongly, it will be making a profit early next year,' Aguado said. 'We expect a cash-burn rate of about HK$500,000 a month initially before going up to about HK$700,000 to HK$1 million. That doesn't count revenue from subscription and advertising.' Cite finds a mainland model Cite Publishing, Taiwan's largest publishing company, has for over four years been exporting its Taiwan content to the mainland. However, the business was exposed to the fiercely competitive magazine market in the mainland and Cite failed to turn a profit there. The company then tried to reach the mainland audience by taking on a role as editor, which proved successful. Through a process of trial and error, as Cite's vice-chairman Ho Fei-pang described it, the company acquired a book content production firm for backpackers called Chiru in 2006, from mainland-based publisher Ringier International Advertising. Chiru has produced more than 10 tourist guides that have been well-received in the market. 'It seems a successful model. We co-ordinate writers to contribute to the books and package the content to publishers. We do not deal with the publishing,' said Mr Ho. 'The model works quite well and involves fewer regulatory hurdles. We can also sell the copyright to the world in different languages.' Mr Ho said the Japanese edition of Chiru will be launched later this year. No 1 on i-Cable's mind I-Cable Communications is set to launch its 'Cable Number 1 Channel' in mid-June to attract viewers after losing the English Premier League. The Number 1 Channel will be distributed through buildings' satellite master antenna television (SMATV) or from a dedicated set-top box. 'The goal is to provide an option for free-TV users, who may be bored by dramas and other types of programmes,' a person at the company said. 'When TVB airs dramas, our channel will have other choices, like news or other infotainment programming.' The final schedule is pending approval.