'GUARDIAN WEEKLY' TARGETS U.S. READERS

Newsstand Version Gets Four-Color Cover Wrap

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- A U.K. news digest, Guardian Weekly, is ramping up its efforts to reach American readers, having launched a direct-mail campaign soliciting U.S. subscribers.

Redesigned newsstand edition
The weekly is an offshoot of a highly regarded London daily, The Guardian, the newspaper of choice for a certain strain of intellectuals and media cognoscenti. In addition to the direct-mail effort, the weekly also looks to woo readers with a redesigned U.S. newsstand edition, which will now be swathed in a four-color wraparound cover with a color photo on its exterior and a cartoon by the Guardian's Steve Bell on its interior. (Subscribers will still receive the standard, text-on-newsprint edition.)

"The main point of difference is that we can put it next to things like Time magazine," a Guardian spokeswoman said. Guardian Weekly contains articles from U.K. dailies The Guardian and The Observer, as well as some from France's Le Monde and The Washington Post.

Last year New York Magazine reported the Guardian was prepping a separate U.S. edition, but the Guardian spokeswoman said the current push was a "separate initiative" and that "no progress" had been made on a proposed American-only edition.

Other U.K. imports
The Guardian's push is reminiscent of moves made in recent years by the British newsweekly The Economist and business daily Financial Times, which have significantly increased their U.S. circulation in the past decade. In 2001, Dennis Publishing began printing a U.S. edition of its news-digest weekly The Week, which also originated in Britain.

The global circulation of the Guardian Weekly, the spokeswoman said, is around 200,000. In the U.S., it boasts around 10,500 subscribers and sells about 1,300 newsstand copies.

The direct-mail offer, signed by the Guardian's editor in chief, Alan Rusbridger, offers six months of Guardian Weekly for $49. A year's subscription is $89 and newsstand copies will be $3.95.

"The Guardian Weekly provides a 'window on the wider world' not available form other publications. That's why Nelson Mandela said he read GW in prison, and why he still receives a copy today," the direct-mail pitch says.

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