PUBLISHERS PERSIST IN TROUBLED TEENS FIELD

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The kids are all right. At least that's what magazine publishers are saying this year about the turbulent teen titles.

Last year wasn't an easy one for startups and turnovers. Time Inc. dumped Mouth2Mouth after two dates on the newsstand and Lang Communications kissed expensive Sassy goodbye with a complicated sale to Petersen Publishing Co. Funky 'zine startups like Dirt and Quake dropped off the stands, too.

But come September, Parade will launch weekly react as an insert in 75 newspapers. The title will encourage 10-to-17-year-old boys and girls to read the news and "react" to it via phone, fax, Internet and mail. react is launching with a rate base of 4 million and opens a World Wide Web site Sept. 11.

The magazine is running promotions in-house on MTV: Music Television and VH1: Video Hits One and print promotions in trade titles and newspapers. Ads in react are going for $41,110 for a color page and $32,890 for b&w. Advertisers include Kaplan SAT, Cliff Notes, Columbia House and Random House, said Bunny Fensterheim, VP-advertising. Local ad rates also will be available.

Also on the back-to-school newsstand will be Petersen's new junior high title All About You, an every-other-monthly that targets girls 12 to 15.

All About You's rate base, effective with the August issue, is 500,000. A color page is $3,900; b&w, $2,610.

Petersen in August relaunched Sassy, claiming an average of 30 ad pages per issue and a 10% hike in readership for the title targeting 15-to-19-year-old girls. Before the relaunch, the monthly's ad pages were down 59.8% through July, to 95.8, according to Publishers Information Bureau.

The Audit Bureau of Circulations reported paid circulation of 773,576 through June, down 3.3%, based on a rate base of 700,000.

'Teen, the oldest title in the Petersen stable, had 285.9 ad pages through July, down 14.5%, according to PIB. Through June, paid circulation for the monthly targeting 14- to 17-year-old girls was 1,263,253, up 6.6%.

Older brands, like K-III Communications Corp.'s Seventeen and BET's YSB claim consistent growth in ad pages and revenues. Along with Gruner & Jahr's YM, those magazines said their older audience makes them more attractive to advertisers.

YM targets 14- to 19-year-olds.

At Seventeen, ad pages are up 7.4% to 577.5 through July, with paid circulation for the monthly up 7.2% to 2,063,053 through June.

Seventeen, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, has been extending its brand with TV and music promotions, including one tied to "Beverly Hills 90210" and another with Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Atlantic Records. Steve Deschenes, senior VP-general manager for Gruner & Jahr titles including YM, said that monthly's rate base had almost doubled over the past four years to 1.85 million. Through July, ad pages are down 8.4% to 204.7, while paid circulation is up 6.5% to 1,947,754 through June.

YSB Publisher Debra Lee said the monthly targeting 15- to 24-year-old black women has seen the rate base double from the launch year to the current 100,000.

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