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Three high-profile American magazine brands-Conde Nast Traveler, GQ and Sports Illustrated-are about to test their appeal outside the U.S.

Time Inc.'s Sports Illustrated is testing the waters appropriately enough with its popular swimsuit issue, distributed to U.S. newsstands Feb. 19. Over the next few months, it will roll out customized versions of the swimsuit issue for 18 countries through a licensing deal with the Los Angeles Times Syndicate International.


At Conde Nast Publications, a British edition of Conde Nast Traveller (with a slightly different spelling from the original) will be launched in September; its 10-year-old U.S. counterpart has grown to a paid circulation of 720,000.

"The British traveler is different from the U.S. traveler," said Deborah Gresty, London-based publishing director of Conde Nast Traveller, in explaining the need for a separate U.K. edition. "The British tend to go much farther afield and are more adventurous."

Ms. Gresty projected a circulation of 80,000 for Conde Nast Traveller, distributed primarily through newsstand sales.

The publisher intends to sell subscriptions through direct mail tests of lists composed of the U.K. readers of Conde Nast's titles, which include Bride's, GQ, House & Garden, Tatler, Vanity Fair and Vogue. Conde Nast magazines in the U.K. have a combined circulation of 108,000, discounting duplication among subscribers to more than one title.

Ad rates for Conde Nast Traveller are set at $8,500 for a color page. Keeping with Conde Nast policy, there are no plans to offer package deals for advertisers that place schedules in both the U.K. and U.S. editions.

At GQ, meanwhile, GQ Active will be launched in the U.K. as a monthly men's lifestyle magazine beginning in April. The rate for a color page is set at $6,350, according to Peter Stuart, London-based publishing director of GQ.

Mr. Stuart predicted circulation of 75,000 to 80,000 for GQ Active. The U.K. GQ, also separate from the U.S. edition, has a circulation of 148,000.

The U.K. launch follows two successful test issues last year, with newsstand sales of 60,000 and 70,000, respectively.

"We think reaction will be quite good judging from the response to such magazines as Men's Health and Loaded," Mr. Stuart said.


The men's lifestyle magazine category is particularly hot in the U.K., where Rodale Press' Men's Health has risen to a circulation of 131,000. Loaded, a 3-year-old irreverent men's lifestyle title from Reed Elsevier, reached a circulation of 240,000 last summer.

Back at Sports Illustrated, international plans initially center on the swimsuit issue, with local-language editions going to Europe, Asia and South America. But Publishing Director Merill Squires is eyeing several other international ventures. Among them, he said, are tests of a Japanese-language edition of a Sports Illustrated Golf Plus insert, a National Basketball Association preview

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