'MIRABELLA' TO SET ITS SIGHTS OLDER: MAGAZINE AGAIN TARGETS UPSCALE WOMEN IN THEIR 30S

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Mirabella's latest attempt to find its voice and put past troubles behind it includes returning to a focus on successful women in their 30s, beefing up its editorial product and running a $1 million, fourth-quarter ad campaign.

Steve Binder, VP-executive publisher of the Hachette Filipacchi Magazines-owned title, said Mirabella is now specifically targeting older, more upscale women in their mid-30s-a positioning the magazine has used before, including when it debuted in 1989.

"I have to sit back and chuckle," said Helene Tricarico, publisher of Movieline and former ad director of Mirabella. "I was trying to convince them of that [positioning] when I was there. I feel vindicated."

Mirabella has suffered an identity crisis about its target audience since its ownership by Hachette.

"I heard [after leaving] that they tried to position themselves younger, instead of just marketing what they had," Ms. Tricarico said. "I'm glad to see it back on track."

INVESTING IN EDITORIAL

Hachette has committed to investing more money in editorial, adding columns and new writers.

"It's really more of an evolution than a revolution," said Editor Roberta Myers, who joined Mirabella earlier this year after Amy Gross left because of creative differences with Hachette President-CEO David Pecker.

The new outdoor and print campaign, from Winslow, New York, will feature a thirtysomething career woman on the go. The tag is "Style and substance for the accomplished woman."

TURBULENT RUN

Mirabella has had a turbulent ride since its namesake, Grace Mirabella, launched the magazine in '89. Rupert Murdoch backed it until 1995, when it came close to extinction due to factors including paper and postage hikes. Hachette at the 11th hour acquired Mirabella.

"I think in fairness it got a little wishy-washy," Martin S. Walker, chairman of magazine consultancy Walker Communications, said of Mirabella's recent past. "But this new ad campaign . . . says they're making a commitment to the

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