Ad revenues rose 13% for the period to $8.9 billion, according to the latest figures from Publishers Information Bureau.
Drugs and remedies topped all categories in revenue growth, up 29.8% to $617.3 million; automotive also remained on a strong growth track, rising 20.4% to $1.3 billion.
'BUOYANT AD CLIMATE'
"There's no question that the buoyant ad climate, which is a result of the buoyant economy, has been helpful to magazines," said Donald Kummerfeld, president of Magazine Publishers of America. "And I think advertising sales people are doing a very good job in making the case for the effectiveness of magazine advertising. I hope this climate continues indefinitely."
Mr. Kummerfeld said he expects it to continue at least through yearend, noting, "We don't see any dark clouds on the horizon for fourth quarter."
Ziff-Davis' PC Magazine led all PIB titles in pages for the period with 4,195, up 0.1%. Forbes was second at 3,016 pages, up 10.3%. People and Business Week followed, with 2,815 and 2,720 pages, up 8% and 8.3%, respectively.
Time took a slight lead in the newsweekly field with 1,797 pages, a gain of 12.7%, followed by Newsweek, up 4.7% to 1,796 pages. U.S. News & World Report was a distant third despite a 4.7% gain to 1,446 pages.
"The category is doing well. With the bifurcation of media, there are few places to go where you can get mass and class, but the newsweeklies can do that," said Tom Evans, publisher of U.S. News. Growth categories for the newsweeklies include computers, financial services and pharmaceuticals.
Two music titles experienced solid gains through the third quarter against last year: The Source, with 737 pages, up 32.8%; and Vibe, with 671 pages, up 11.5%.
The more mature Spin was up 4.8% to 730.1 pages, while Rolling Stone's pages increased 3.7% to 1,216.4 pages.
"Many of the advertisers in this country .*.*. have recognized the power of urban music," said John Rollins, group publisher of Miller Publishing's Vibe and Spin. "Vibe clearly broke through to mainstream America to show the beauty of urban culture. This audience has a huge ability to purchase."
As for Spin, Mr. Rollins said the magazine's maturity gives it less room to grow.
Most of the so-called Seven Sisters experienced modest growth through the third quarter. Good Housekeeping was the exception, with pages rising 20% to 937. But that followed a tough year for the magazine, which saw pages decline 24.9% for full-year 1996.
A BEAUTIFUL YEAR
The beauty books have also had a good year so far, with Marie Claire up 28% to 866 pages, Cosmopolitan up 13.2% to 1,395 and Glamour rising 16.1% to 1,359. In the fashion field, Vogue saw a 10.7% jump to 2,015 pages, while Elle was up 18.3% to 1,538 and Harper's Bazaar was up a more modest 5.1% to 1,127.
In the men's category, Men's Health and GQ posted double-digit gains. GQ was up 15% to 1,199 pages, while Men's Health rose 15.3% to 589. Esquire, with 391.2