SHINY GLOSSY PAGE SIX FOR ALL YOUR GOSSIP NEEDS

What Everyone Is Talking About Today

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The New York Post unveiled its glossy Page Six magazine inside the paper this morning, no doubt delighting gossip junkies with its cover story on a teenage Angelina Jolie, but even more important, delivering a new high-polish venue for advertisers.
The 76-page debut includes 38 ad pages from marketers like Jill Stuart, London Jewelers and the W South Beach Hotel & Residences. The daily paper is most often filled with ads for car dealers, cellphones, entertainment, airlines and electronics stores.

Today’s issue was, strictly speaking, just a toe in the water; the second issue is tentatively planned for September. But the Post clearly has big ambitions.

“We’re looking for an increase in sales of the newspaper of 10% or more,” Col Allan, the Post's editor in chief, told Watercooler. Allan was so confident in the appeal of the new title that the paper ordered up an extra 100,000 copies today in anticipation of greater demand. “It’s also an opportunity for some folks to sample a newspaper they may not have previously consumer. We hope that they like it and that they may stay with us.”

And if readers take to the magazine and want to buy 25-cent copies of the Post to get it, it could become a powerful weapon in New York’s intensifying circulation battle fight between the Post and the Daily News. (Which has grown so fierce that Daily News drivers have been snatching rival bundles of papers off the streets.)

The Post had an average paid weekday circulation of 672,731 during the six months that ended Sept. 30, up almost 10% over the period two years earlier, according to its statement with the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The News still leads with an average paid weekday circulation of 688,584, but its gain over the last two years was just 4.1%.

The magazine is also, of course, an advertising play.

The 76-page debut includes 38 ad pages from marketers like Jill Stuart, London Jewelers and the W South Beach Hotel & Residences. The daily paper is most often filled with ads for car dealers, cellphones, entertainment, airlines and electronics stores.

“If you look at the clients in the magazine, some of them are not frequent advertisers in the Post,” Mr. Allan said. “We would like to think that they might go on to consider the newspaper in their budgets and schedules.”

The Post is going out of its way to protect the brand that Page Six has become; Richard Johnson, who runs the daily Page Six spread in the paper, serves as editorial director. Page Six magazine also retains the gossip spread’s focus on New York, partly to avoid getting lumped in with the celebrity weeklies already fighting each other tooth and broken nail.

The Daily News also tried publishing its own glossy insert in the form of 25 Hours, a photo-centric Sunday title introduced in October 2004, but shuttered it last May.

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