The founders of Cachet, a New York-based monthly, plan to target "successful suburbanite" enclaves such as Bergen County, N.J.; Fairfax Station, Va., and Mission Viejo, Calif. Meanwhile, the weekly American Profile, headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., sets its homespun sights on America's so-called C and D markets -- the pastoral town squares of small-market America.
"Frankly, we saw A and B communities and major metro markets being well-served by Parade or USA Weekend," said American Profile's CEO Dan Hammond, but there was no equivalent periodical for what he likes to call "Hometown, USA." His solution is a regionalized magazine, 16 pages at its April 25 launch, which currently claims a circulation of 1.2 million.
"There's never been a good way for advertisers to get into C and D [markets of] America," Mr. Hammond said. Other newspaper and advertising observers agree American Profile is the first national newspaper magazine specifically pegged to these markets.
Mr. Hammond, who hails from Noblesville, Ind. ("They just ran a story on me on the front page of the hometown paper"), said American Profile "promotes the good news of living in Hometown, America." Currently there are two regional editions of the weekly, covering the Midwest and Southeast, each with individualized content. By yearend, Mr. Hammond expects to launch Northeast, central and western editions.
A color page in its July 30 issue -- with a rate base of 1,142,000 -- is $24,839, and regional buys are available. Advertisers thus far include Sony Music Entertainment, Dodge Car/Truck Division of DaimlerChrysler and Bose Corp.
Liz Schaller, associate product marketing manager at Bose, said "it's a little bit too early to tell" how long-term an ad commitment American Profile warrants, but "the initial results look promising."
Cachet already boasts alliances with newspapers such as Newsday, the Orange County Register and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune in 14 major metro markets, which will give it a circulation of more than a million for its Aug. 25 launch.
"We're primarily looking to reflect the interest, affluence, lifestyle and views" of the suburban audience, said Ken Lelen, Cachet's editor in chief. A color page ad is $54,600.
"We're looking at communities that have more in common with each other" than with the cities they ring, said Peter Hagen, Cachet's publisher. Accordingly, cachetmagazine.com will seek to leverage that scattered sense of community by featuring weekly content, chat rooms and bulletin boards. The site is expected to be up in the fourth quarter.
It's not surprising, Mr. Hagen said, that Internet use among his target audience "is almost off the charts."
SIGNS OF SOFTNESS
The two major syndicated newspaper magazines show signs of softness this year. According to Publishers Information Bureau figures, through May, Parade's ad pages were down 1.8% and USA Weekend's pages dropped 12.6%.
Another Sunday supplement, Access Internet Magazine, which focuses on the Internet, debuted a redesign June 18. Through distribution in more than 70 metropolitan newspapers, Access Internet has a circulation of 8 million.