TWO NEW MEN'S SHOPPING MAGAZINES TO CLASH

'Vitals' to Compete With Sibling Company's 'Cargo'

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In a move that is certain to intensify internecine rivalry between Fairchild Publications and corporate sibling Conde Nast, Fairchild today
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announced it will start up a quarterly men's shopping magazine called Vitals.

Vitals will launch in September 2004, after Conde Nast's scheduled spring launch of Cargo, a male-themed offshoot of its wildly successful shopping title Lucky. But in a press release today, Fairchild boldly dubbed Vitals a "luxury shopping magazine."

'Luxury and high end'
"We are going to be much more luxury and high end" than Cargo, said Joe Zee, Vitals' editor in chief. Mr. Zee was previously fashion director at Fairchild's W. "I don't want to show you 50 cell phones. I want to show you the three best."

This move is similar to one Fairchild made earlier this year. In August, the company purchased Elegant Bride with the notion of making it a high-end destination for bridal advertisers. Conde Nast publishes Bride's and Modern Bride.

So is this another sign of Fairchild targeting markets served by its corporate sibling?

"I guess if you want to analyze it that way you could," said Mr. Zee. But he added, "We look at it more like synergy than competition. ... In the end we're more niche than a Conde Nast title could be."

Past spats
Previously, the 2000 relaunch of former Conde Nast title Details as a Fairchild magazine led to some sniping between Details and Conde Nast warhorse GQ that spilled out into some press accounts.

The boldness of Fairchild CEO Mary Berner's moves does not go unnoticed along the halls of Conde Nast's Times Square tower. (Fairchild is housed in more modest quarters 10 blocks downtown.) "If there's ever a war, I want to be in a foxhole with that woman," said one Conde Nast insider. "She is tough as [expletive.]"

150,000 rate base
Vitals rate base for the debut issue will be 150,000 -- or half of Cargo's. Vitals will concentrate on fashion, accessories and grooming, Mr. Zee said, but will also stray into areas of entertainment and electronics. Cargo, too, will serve a broader mix than Lucky.

Alan Katz, publisher of Cargo, is in Milan this week, and could not be immediately.

"We are launching Cargo. It will run six times in 2004. We have no comment with regard to Vitals," a Conde Nast spokeswoman said.

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