TIMES MIRROR TAKES X-TREME 'STANCE': NEW TITLE FROM TRANSWORLD UNIT TO COVER THE CULTURE OF MALE TEENS

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Times Mirror Magazines, publisher of Field & Stream and Popular Science, believes it's found a formula to attract the most elusive of readers: the teen-age male.

Next week, the publisher's TransWorld Media division will introduce TransWorld's Stance, a lifestyle publication built around extreme sports.

The general-interest title will cover all parts of the extreme sports culture -- interests typically embraced by boys ages 14 to 21. TransWorld already publishes such niche titles as TransWorld Skateboarding, TransWorld Snowboarding and TransWorld Surf.

"The common denominators are videogames, music, shoes, girls and cars," said Brian Sellstrom, CEO of TransWorld Media and senior VP-Times Mirror Magazines. "The concept of Stance is to take the culture of male teens as we know it through our vertical titles and create a broad spectrum that cuts across all sports."

Titles aimed at teen-age girls have proliferated in recent years. Hearst Magazines' CosmoGirl is just one of several new ones chasing the Candie's set, joining well-established books such Primedia's Seventeen, Emap Petersen's Teen and Gruner & Jahr USA Publishing's YM.

One of last year's most successful launches, Time Inc.'s Teen People, manages to reach a dual audience. But girl readers still account for nearly 70%. Times Mirror hopes Stance can capture more of the Vans and Skechers crowd.

BOYS' BUYING POWER

There are nearly 22 million teen boys in the U.S., and in 1997 they were responsible for $91.5 billion in consumer spending, according to a 1997 Rand Youth Poll from Rand Market Research.

"There is a whole sort of culture that exists in the youth sector that can be summed up as California extreme-sports guys meets New York street culture. That hasn't really been introduced into the mainstream. We think the time is right to do that," said Fran Richards, TransWorld's editorial director.

A TEEN'S TAKE

Stance takes its name from the term for how one stands on either a skateboard, surfboard or snowboard, but also is used to denote a teen's take on which upcoming products or celebrities are cool.

The first issue, which hits newsstands Feb. 22, will pack 84 editorial pages with new product information on clothes, sneakers, videos, music, cars, computers action figures and sports equipment.

Advertisers in the first issue include the DC shoe company, Interscope Records, Electronic Arts and World Industries. A color page costs $5,336

Stance, to be published every other month, will distribute 90,000 copies to newsstands -- as well as TransWorld's network of music, skateboarding, surf and snowboarding shops -- with a cover price of $2.99.

CELEBRITY SCENE

The magazine also will profile celebrities, especially those prominent in the extreme-sports world, and will include "some girls in there for the guys to look at," Mr. Richards said.

The TransWorld titles are part of Times Mirror's Teen Active Network, a group that includes Skiing Co.'s Freeze and bike titles Ride BMX and Snap BMX.

Teen Active Network competes directly with Emap Petersen's Raw Sports Group,

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