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Unnamed Title Will Be Similar to 'Lucky'

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Conde Nast Publications today announced, in the barest-bones fashion possible, that it would launch in 2004 a men's version of its shopping magazine Lucky.

Conde Nast Editorial Director James Truman, who will oversee the project, said the nascent title has neither an editor in chief nor a publisher, and that the company had not yet decided what the magazine would be called. In addition, the time frame for the launch is somewhat uncertain as well.

No test issues
"We hope to get at least one issue out in the first six months of next year," he said. He said the company would launch the title without publishing test issues. The company's most recent launch, of Teen Vogue, came after four several newsstand-only test issues were published over a period of a couple of years. Lucky published a test issue in 2000 before proceeding with a full-blown launch.

Lucky, which was inspired by

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Japanese shopping magazines that closely resemble repurposed product catalogs, was derided as a "mag-a-log" when it first appeared. But while the 800,000-circulation Lucky has been a smash hit for the company, notching over 1,000 ad pages in its second full year of existence and claiming the No. 3 spot on Advertising Age's A List of magazines for 2002, observers remain less certain that a men's version of the magazine will find such a large audience.

Not a 'niche' title
Mr. Truman declined to directly address questions concerning what the company's circulation goals were for the new project, but said "we are not looking at this as a small niche magazine, with a different model than our other magazines." Conde Nast's publishing model calls for mass-circulation magazines, which Mr. Truman defined as those with circulations that top 650,000. The only Conde Nast title with a circulation smaller than that is the digerati-aimed Wired.

Conde Nast insiders had spoken of a significantly sped up announcement process for the men's version of Lucky ever since CEO Steven T. Florio caused a stir March 6 at a Magazine Publishers of America breakfast in which he said the company would imminently announce a new launch. But Mr. Truman denied this, saying that the announcement had been planned for March 10 all along, and that Mr. Florio, "in his enthusiasm, spoke a little early."

Search for 'GQ' editor
The other eagerly awaited Conde Nast move that is being overseen by Mr. Truman is his search for an editor in chief of GQ to replace company veteran Art Cooper, who is leaving in June. Mr. Truman said he expected to announce Mr. Cooper's successor in the last week of March, adding that he was in the process of interviewing eight candidates for the job. He declined to identify or comment on any of those he has interviewed, but company insiders say the list includes GQ executive editors Jim Nelson and Michael Hainey, and Michael Hirschorn, the former editor of Spin and Inside.com who's now a senior vice president at VH1.

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