TIME'S 'PEOPLE EN ESPANOL' TO BOOST FREQUENCY IN '98 HISPANIC EDITION TO GO FROM 4 TO 10 ISSUES NEXT YEAR

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People en Espanol, a quarterly test project launched in October, has the green light from Time Inc. management for 10 issues in 1998.

Lisa Quiroz, general manager of Time for Kids, has been named the first publisher of the Spanish-language edition of People, created to reach U.S. Hispanic readers and to lure ad dollars from other Hispanic media.

"I'll be spending a lot of time trying to expand the amount of money spent in Hispanic print media," Ms. Quiroz said. "Most of the money goes to television."

$1.2 BIL IN SPENDING

Ad expenditures for Hispanic media were $1.2 billion last year, according to Hispanic Business Magazine. Some 53% of that went to TV, while only 16% was doled out to print.

The move is unusual for Time since People en Espanol will be a smaller-scale business, compared to recent start-ups like In Style, currently at a 700,000 rate base, said Jeremy Koch, the People VP who spearheaded the project along with Jacob Young, People's assistant managing editor.

The Audit Bureau of Circulations statement for 1997's first six months for People en Espanol-due out in early '98-will show an average circulation and rate base of 170,000, said Mr. Koch. Current distribution is 350,000.

People en Espanol is planning to increase circulation to 400,000 in the next six years, with an average of 50-plus ad pages an issue, said Mr. Koch, who believes that goal is modest.

"We feel even higher circulation is a strong possibility, especially when you look at the number of titles serving the African-American market, and when you consider that the Hispanic market, almost equal in size, is even less well-served," he said.

FASTEST-GROWING SEGMENT

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, the Hispanic population is the fastest-growing segment among minorities, increasing at a rate of seven times that of the general population. The Hispanic population is estimated to be 27 million, but by the year 2005 it is projected to be 36.6 million, making Hispanics the largest ethnic subset in the U.S.

If People en Espanol is successful, other Time Inc. titles may follow with Hispanic editions.

"We as a company feel this is an important marketplace to develop an expertise in," Mr. Young said.

Advertisers on board after the first three issues included Gillette Co., Johnson & Johnson, McDonald's Corp., J.C. Penney Co., Revlon and Sears, Roebuck & Co. Automotive advertisers have included American Honda Motor Co., Chrysler Corp., Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp., Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America and Toyota Motor Sales USA.

Ad pages jumped from 29 pages in the first issue to 51 in the current.

"Many of our prime prospects for advertising are still unpenetrated," Mr. Koch said, adding that so far only 17 of the top 50 advertisers targeting this market

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