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There are six months left to go in 1997, but the magazine industry is celebrating a strong first-half performance.

Ad pages rose 5% through June compared to the same period last year, to 109,574.6, according to Publishers Information Bureau, while ad revenue increased 12.2% to $5.9 billion.

Women's fashion and fitness titles did especially well in the first half, as did airline in-flight titles and national Sunday magazines. The newsweeklies all saw moderate growth, as did men's magazines.

Ziff-Davis' PC Magazine led all magazines in pages for the period with 3,057.45, up 4.6%. Following not so closely behind were Business Week (1,926.45 pages, up 8.6%) and Forbes (1,916.16 pages, up 5.3%).


Automotive remained the medium's largest ad category in the first half, up 14.1% to $872 million. Toiletries and cosmetics was second with a gain of 19.4% to $562 million, followed by computers/

office equipment/stationery, up 12.6% to $498 million.

The fastest-growing category was drugs and remedies, up 33% to $420 million. Apparel, footwear and accessories also showed strong growth of 20.5% to $336 million. The only top 10 ad category lagging in the first half was food, flat at $327 million.

"The overall climate for magazine advertising is good because the economy is good," said Christopher Little, president of Meredith Publishing Group. "We're seeing strength in a lot of different areas."

Magazine Publishers of America President Donald Kummerfeld agreed the strong economy contributed to the growth, especially in the top 10 categories.

Among women's titles, Hearst Corp.'s Cosmopolitan was up 15.2% in ad pages to 950.55, while Harper's Bazaar was up 9.7% to 692.25. Town & Country continued to post strong ad page counts, up 26% to 575.77. At Conde Nast Publications, Allure was up 27.4% in ad pages to 697.05, Glamour posted a gain of 18.6% to 899.08, Vogue was up 13.3% to 1,213.57 and Mademoiselle was up 8.4% to 600.72. Hachette Filipacchi Magazines' Elle was up 29.6% to 1,003.57, while Mirabella's pages rose 16.8% to 153.6. And Fairchild Publications' W was up 20.5% to 774.5.


U.S. Airways, up 29.3% in ad pages to 458.68; Northwest AirWorld Traveler, with a 28.9% increase to 652.27, and Delta Air Lines' Sky Magazine, up 20% to 617.01, gave the in-flight category a lift.

Among leading men's titles, only Esquire was down, with a 6.6% drop to 253.49 pages. Outside was up 17.1% to 600.4; GQ, up 12.9% to 744.42; Men's Health, up 16.9% to 413.38; and Men's Journal, up 5.8% to 375.57.

In the newsweekly race, 1996 champion Newsweek led the way in the first half with 1,251.87 pages, up 4.7%. Time was second with 1,220.4 pages, up 9.5%, followed by U.S. News & World Report with 1,005.46 pages, up 2.8%.

Among national Sunday magazines, USA Weekend inched ahead of Parade. USA Weekend

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