Forbes focuses on women

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A publication that narrows the latest runway looks and polls women on their favorite hotels may seem a strange companion to a traditional business magazine, but Moira Forbes doesn't think so.

In fact, the fall launch of ForbesLife Executive Woman will be a bit of a throwback. The first issue of Forbes, published in 1917, included a special "women in business" section.

Now the media company is looking to play off the success of its general-interest ForbesLife product by developing a magazine for time-pressed women executives.

"I'm part of the fourth generation, and we're really looking for opportunities to grow our brand," said Forbes, who was recently named publisher of ForbesLife Executive Woman. "Women in business is a really important community at Forbes.

"On a personal level, at a family business, I'm excited to work on something that speaks to me directly," said Forbes, one of five daughters of company President-CEO Steve Forbes.

The magazine, scheduled to debut in October, will be sent to the current 125,000 female subscribers of Forbes. It will become a quarterly next year, packaged with Forbes. Subscribers will continue to receive ForbesLife, now published six times a year and sent to 860,000 subscribers of Forbes. But Forbes promises little overlap in the editorial content.

A fashion section aims to act as a personal shopper, winnowing down the latest trends to those best suited to women executives. Other sections will focus on health, travel and entertaining. A standing column, "My Best Mistake," will profile top managers.

The goal is not to talk down to women or give them the same business content they can read in the pages of Forbes. Rather, it is to give readers the information they don't have the time to read in traditional women's magazines while also providing advertisers with a venue to reach the demographic, Forbes said.

The target audience is professional women at least in their 40s, who have household incomes close to $100,000—and more than half of them work in managerial or executive positions.

"It opens the door to a new community of advertisers that are trying to reach women," Forbes said. "When you ask a lot of marketers how important this community is, they all agree this is an incredibly powerful group but they don't know how to access them. This is a magazine for women who have an eye on the corner office and might not be there yet, as well as for women who have made it."

Forbes joined the family business in 2001, first working in its London office for the former Forbes Global. She was named associate publisher of ForbesLife (formerly called Forbes FYI) in February 2004 and will continue to serve in that role.

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