Bauer to launch new weekly

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Bauer publishing, publisher of checkout-counter staples such as First for Women, will launch a weekly entertainment title called In Touch in November.

Hubert Boehle, Bauer president, said the company aims for an audience in its 20s and 30s, and at launch will have a rate base of 250,000. Ad rates have not yet been determined, said Group Publisher David Jackson, but costs-per-thousand are expected to be in the $70 range. Mr. Boehle hopes to reach 1 million circulation eventually.

Mr. Boehle was short on specifics for the title's focus, but said articles would be brief and would lead the reader on an "information journey" akin to reading on the Web. "You start out with a personal story, and carry it to fashion, finance, beauty, decorating," he said. An edit-side individual outside the company familiar with the project described it as an Us Weekly-People hybrid. (Us Weekly is published by Wenner Media, and People is a Time Inc. title.) Mr. Boehle said launch costs were "way more" than $10 million.

anomaly

Bauer's newsstand-dependent publishing model is something of an anomaly in the U.S. Its titles include those skewed toward teens (J-14, Twist and M) and women (First for Women, Woman's World and two soap-opera publications) and routinely outsell on the newsstand higher-profile offerings from big publishers. Woman's World sells 1.6 million copies on the newsstand each week-more than TV Guide and Time combined. In Touch's cover price will be $1.99-which undercuts Us Weekly's and People's $2.99, though more than American Media's National Enquirer, at $1.69, and The Star, at $1.89. Bauer Publications typically have low cover prices. First for Women is $1.99. None of the titles are audited by Publishers Information Bureau for ad pages (The July issue of Twist had 18.5 ad pages out of a 100-page folio.)

The tabloids, said one media buyer who requested anonymity, are Bauer's and In Touch's peer group-and may be why the new title may not turn on ad buyers. "The category is struggling as a whole," the buyer said. (People's ad pages are down 7.4% through April, but Us and the supermarket tabloids are up.) Tabloids and In Touch "will always have a place, but it doesn't necessarily mean another general-interest/paparazzi magazine will find its niche and groove."

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