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Last Issue Will Be October

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Hearst Magazines and the Walt Disney Co.-owned cable channel Lifetime are pulling the plug on their joint-venture magazine Lifetime, the companies said in a statement. The upcoming October 2004 issue will be its last.

"The translation into print was challenging

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and did not yield the results we anticipated," the statement read. A Hearst spokeswoman said that Lifetime magazine employed 48 staffers.

'Right thing to do'
The spokeswoman told AdAge.com that there were no issues between the magazine and cable giant that led to the magazine's demise. "Everyone was on the same page," she said. "Everyone agreed this was the right thing to do." The spokeswoman said Hearst officials were not available for comment.

Lifetime launched with a May/June issue in 2003 and was initially edited by former McCall's editor in chief Sally Koslow. But despite carrying 104 ad pages in its launch issue, it failed to prove a big hit with readers or advertisers. Ms. Koslow was replaced by Real Simple's launch editor, Susan Wyland, in January, and her reworked Lifetime, which contained noticeable nods to Real Simple, debuted in May.

In an interview with Advertising Age conducted shortly after Ms. Wyland was brought in, Hearst Magazines President Cathleen Black said, "I don't think Lifetime was well-executed enough," and expressed concerns it had not adequately distinguished itself from being, as Ms. Black put it, "another traditional women's service magazine."

Cross-platform ad deals
The two companies behind the magazine never really leveraged cross-platform ad deals that were implicitly promised through the partnership. This spring, Lifetime's publisher, Susan Plagemann, said the first such joint ad program, with Kraft Foods, was slated to begin in June.

For the first seven months of this year, Lifetime ran 212.2 ad pages. Including the October issue, Lifetime will have published eight issues in 2004 and six in 2003. Its circulation was not yet audited by the Audit Bureau of Circulations, but its rate base (the circulation guaranteed to advertisers) was 600,000.

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