Another shopping mag: 'Tip' tossed into the ring by 'Newsweek'

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The next major entrant into the shopping-and-service category comes from ... Newsweek.

You read that right: The venerable newsweekly, owned by the Washington Post Co., will send 400,0000 copies of Tip to newsstands Nov. 15. Tip is an outgrowth of the magazine's service section, "The Tip Sheet," and is edited by Kathleen Deveny, the Newsweek assistant managing editor who oversees that section.

"The reason there are all these shopping magazines," said Ms. Deveny, "is that choices have exploded. You can get everything online, without leaving your desk. ... But it's a lot harder to sort through everything-information, products, services."

boomer audience

The debut issue of Tip, which unsurprisingly focuses on the holidays, will also be mailed to 150,000 individuals culled from Newsweek's database of 3 million subscribers. Greg Osberg, Newsweek's worldwide publisher, said the title was shooting for a baby-boomer audience, if not slightly younger, with household incomes above $100,000-who will be the subscribers receiving Tip.

Future frequency will be determined by consumer response, said Mr. Osberg. A return for the 2005 holiday season is assured, and a spring issue is on the drawing boards. Tip's rate base is 300,000. Its newsstand price is $4.95.

Fifty-one ad pages will appear in the debut issue from such marketers as Audi of America, Marriott International and Microsoft Corp., Mr. Osberg said. He said the first issue of Tip-which Ms. Deveny assembled with a dedicated editorial staff of around five and assistance from Newsweek's considerable internal resources-is expected to be profitable.

In the past decade, newsweeklies and major newspapers have increasingly emphasized lifestyle coverage as leavening to their traditional news-and-analysis mission. Those lifestyle pages are also more attractive destinations for marketers' messages than, say, advertising placed close to stories about Iraq or Sudan.

Time, under Walter Isaacson, remade itself in the '90s with a slightly softer focus, and Mort Zuckerman's U.S. News & World Report staked its claim on its "News You Can Use" section.

big bet

And as tough as the recession was for The Wall Street Journal, executives likely cringe to think how bad it would have been were it not for its Weekend Journal and Personal Journal sections, which brought in new advertisers to the business daily. Still, Tip represents an exponentially larger bet on such subject matter.

The holiday issue of Tip covers a wide swath of holiday-related service, offering real-life families' strategies for coping with holiday budgets; guides to bicycles and flowers-of-the-month clubs; and travel (specifically places to go to enjoy the holidays or to "completely avoid" the holidays, said Ms. Deveny). Actress and children's book author Jamie Lee Curtis contributed a piece on dealing with holiday stress.

Mr. Osberg said the ad successes of last year's holiday version of the Tip Sheet section gave rise to the notion of a magazine extension of the concept. He and Ms. Deveny agreed to pitch the concept, and Ms. Deveny and her staff have been working on Tip since June.

"People are hungry for this kind of information," said Ms. Deveny. "It's hard to do well."

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