Iconic Photo Magazine Prepares for Its Third Life

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In a long-anticipated move, Time Inc. today officially announced the third resurrection of Life magazine, this time as a newspaper supplement slated to appear Fridays.

The prototype cover of the new 'Life' magazine features the singer Nora Jones.
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Newspaper companies
For its launch, scheduled for October, Life will be distributed in newspapers owned by the Tribune Co. (12 dailies, including Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Newsday); Knight Ridder Inc. (31 dailies, including two in Philadelphia and Miami Herald); and the McClatchy Co. (12 dailies, including Minneapolis Star Tribune, Raleigh News & Observer and Sacramento Bee). Additional papers that have agreed to carry Life include the New York Daily News, Bergen Record in New Jersey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and both Denver dailies.

The lure of Life is deeply embedded in Time Inc.'s DNA; shortly after its second shuttering in 2000 at least one key Time Inc. executive spoke privately about imminent, unspecified plans to restart the brand. The new Life, like the ones past, will take a very general-interest approach, albeit with what sounds like a heavier emphasis on entertainment. Insiders described it as being heavier on photography than existing newspaper supplements such as Advance Publications' Parade and Gannett Co.'s USA Weekend.

Weekend focus
"We are going to be doing stories that relate to what's going on over the weekend," said Publisher Peter Bauer, referring to top DVD, CD and movie releases of the week. He also said there would be articles concerning food, travel, and "practical financial advice."

Life will launch with a circulation close to 12 million. "We plan to grow the circulation," Mr. Bauer said, "but we'll never be as big as USA Weekend or Parade."

Ad rates
Mr. Bauer cited concerns over the prohibitive cost of buying an ad as the reason for keeping Life's circulation smaller (circulation is 35 million for Parade and 23 million for USA Weekend). A one-time, full-color ad page in Life goes for $310,976.

Judging from comments of executives familiar with the project, the project had spent the last few months within two weeks of being made official. Last month, Time Inc. began running ads seeking editorial staffers for an unannounced project. In late April, Bill Shapiro (now the title's managing editor) and Mr. Bauer were moved into unspecified positions within the Life launch team. Mr. Shapiro had been managing editor of Time Inc's custom-publishing unit, and Mr. Bauer had been president of People magazine.

Time Inc. is a division of Time Warner.

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the cost for a one-time, full-color ad page in Life as $110,976. The correct rate is $310,976.

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