Magazines aimed at home offices set for fall launch

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Entrepreneur and Success are going up against Scholastic Inc. with magazines aimed at the burgeoning home-office market.

In September, Success will launch Working at Home, which first made its debut with a test issue in 1995. The quarterly will carry a cover price of $3.95, and has a guaranteed rate base of 300,000. Success Editor in Chief-Publisher Scott DeGarmo has the same posts with the new title.

OCTOBER LAUNCH

Entrepreneur's Home Office will be launched in October with a cover price of $2.95 and a rate base of 150,000. A second issue will be published in February before the magazine begins every-other-monthly publication.

Both are entering a market served by Scholastic's Home Office Computing and, to some extent, Inc. But with research reports such as IDC/Link projecting the number of U.S. households with a home office at 40 million by 2000, the category's appeal is obvious.

The new entries maintain their approach is unique. Entrepreneur's Home Office, for example, will target home-office veterans.

"This is not going to be a how-to kind of book," said Entrepreneur Editor in Chief Rieva Lesonski, who has the same title with the new magazine. "It's not for home-based business owners who have part-time or hobby jobs. This is for someone who's been in business about three years and is making some money and wants to grow."

`ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST' HYBRID

The Success title was described by a spokeswoman as "a hybrid of Architectural Digest, Success and Home Office Computing."

Entrepreneur produced a one-shot, newsstand test for the home-office market seven years ago, but Ms. Lesonski believes it was too far ahead of the curve for the ad community. Entrepreneur's Home Office will initially be produced by Entrepreneur staffers, but eventually will hire its own staff, she said.

"It's a huge advertising market," said Steve Klein, media director at Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York. "The question becomes whether they are being served by other books in the market. Does an Inc. or Entrepreneur or Success already fill that need? Can they build a business on it and get people to read a title devoted just to the home office?"

SCHOLASTIC TITLE UP 9.5%

For the first quarter of this year, Home Office Computing was up 9.5% in ad pages to 236.55 compared to the same period in '96, according to Publishers Information Bureau figures. Inc. was up 5.8% in ad pages to 282.95 for that period.

Total circulation for Home Office Computing was up 2.4% to 461,353 for the second half of '96, according to Audit Bureau of Circulations. However, single-copy sales fell 32% to 20,361, which doesn't bode well for the newcomers.

Inc.'s total circulation was essentially flat for the second half of '96, up only 0.6% to 664,608. Inc.'s newsstand sales were down 6.5%, falling to 30,578.

Major ad categories that both new titles will be chasing include computers, both hardware and software; office equipment; tele-communications; and financial/insurance advertisers.

Copyright April 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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