'NOTORIOUS' STAKES OUT OWN NICHE IN SEXUALITY CATEGORY: BUCKING CONVENTION, NEW MAG TARGETS BOTH MEN AND WOMEN

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Move over, Playboy. Step aside, Cosmo. There's a new kid on the block-Notorious, a magazine about relationships and sexuality, but aimed at both sexes.

The magazine, which hits newsstands nationwide this week, is the product of newly formed Notorious Partners, co-founded by Nancy Hunt and David Anthony.

"There's really no other magazine that men and women can share that touches on sexual issues," said Ms. Hunt, exec VP-marketing of Notorious.

UNSATISFIED SEGMENT

"The essence of Notorious is what women want and what men want," said Mr. Anthony, publisher and editor in chief. "Playboy and Cosmopolitan are the best at covering this territory to a large audience. What we're trying to do is reach a segment of their audience that isn't satisfied with the breadth of what they're covering."

"We were really well-received in the advertising community," Ms. Hunt said. "People were willing to take a chance with us because we're hitting a niche."

Charter advertisers include Calvin Klein, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.'s Camel and International Distillers & Vintners. IDV has cinched liquor ad exclusivity in Notorious. The deal calls for IDV to buy 70 ad pages over seven issues. IDV brands include J&B scotch, Stolichnaya vodka, Amaretto Di Saronno, Campari, Bombay gin, Bailey's Irish Cream and Cuervo Gold tequila.

'NOTORIOUS' RATES

A b&w page costs $10,625; a color page is $12,500. After the debut issue, Notorious will return in January as an every-other-monthly.

Dick Stolley, senior editorial adviser at Time Inc., first saw a prototype of Notorious more than 21/2 years ago when Mr. Anthony showed it to him at a professional publishing course.

"It went against all the conventional publishing wisdom that you could have an entertainment and lifestyle magazine for both men and women," Mr. Stolley said.

WHAT BETTER TIME

"I think the idea is sufficiently interesting," he added. "And what better time to launch a magazine than now when the economy is so robust? . . . I think David has raised a fair amount of money and they feel confident."

The initial pressrun for Notorious is 200,000, to be distributed at newsstands, bookstores, transportation venues, mass-merchandise retailers and specialty retailers including HMV and Nobody Beats the Wiz.

"We're being cautious but professional. You go in with a plan on developing an audience and then you adjust it accordingly," said Bob Alexander, president of circulation consultancy Alexander & Associates.

Mr. Alexander is heading up Notorious' circulation efforts and plans to conduct a direct mail campaign by mid-1998.

"We'll move ahead based upon knowledge and as little guesswork as possible," he

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