Q: What do boldfaced names Joni Evans (publishing bigwig) Peggy Noonan (political pundit), Liz Smith (NY Post gossip), Lesley Stahl (CBS vet) and Mary Wells (ad legend) have in common? A: They’re all pals, they’re all women of a certain age, and they’re all starting a new Web pub together.
The five friends have chipped in $200,000 each to launch WowOWow.com, which opens for business this weekend and is supposed to target women over 45. We thought that women were a pretty well-served demo online, but Joni, who organised the startup over a couple of lunches and is CEO, says we’re wrong: “There’s not a lot for women over 40, who aren’t looking for a date or trying to get married,” she says.
Joni says her site will offer her co-founders and readers a chance to swap stories, chat amongst each other, etc. And in addition to her big name co-founders, all of whom are supposed to write for the site, she’ll also be trotting out famous friends to post/contribute, including Candice Bergen, Lily Tomlin and Whoopi Goldberg. This sounds a bit like the original iteration of the Huffington Post, no? No, Joni says. Totally different.
She’s not sure how long the $1 million she’s raised will last, but says the site already has ad commitments from Tiffany and Citi. We’re not wild about the name, which is supposed to stand for “Women On The Web”. But the Internet is full of successful pubs with lousy monikers, and in any event we’re certainly happy to see someone else try the whole Web publishing startup thing. Joni, a warning: It’s quite tiring!