'TRAVEL & LEISURE' PLANS 2 SPINOFFS: AMEX READIES FAMILY TITLE AS LATEST BRAND EXTENSION; GOLF MAG IN TEST

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American Express Publishing Corp., currently testing a golf lifestyle magazine, is preparing a second spinoff of its flagship Travel & Leisure aimed at families.

Travel & Leisure Family will make its debut next April, with a second issue slated for October 1998. A direct-mail test has been completed for Travel & Leisure Golf, meanwhile, and a prototype is now being shown to potential advertisers.

"The two ideas came together at the same time, and we felt both could work because of the strength of the core product," said Ann Marks, VP-marketing for Travel & Leisure.

BRAND EXTENSIONS

AmEx Publishing President-CEO Dan Brewster said the projects are part of a strategy to develop extensions of the company's brands. The publisher operates as a joint venture between AmEx and Time Inc.

"We spent the first two years of the joint venture getting the core properties healthy," Mr. Brewster said. "Now they are doing well, and we are looking at ways of extending the brands."

In addition to Travel & Leisure, AmEx Publishing is parent to Food & Wine and Departures.

The first two issues of Travel & Leisure Family will be distributed to 250,000 Travel & Leisure subscribers identified through AmEx's database as affluent, frequent travelers with children. After publishing two issues next year, the magazine will increase frequency to every other monthly in 1999.

Newsstand distribution for the first two issues will be 100,000. A color page is $18,500; the rate base is 275,000. That compares to $58,340 for a color page in Travel & Leisure, which has a rate base of 925,000.

TARGETING FAMILIES

"In the past if an advertiser wanted to target our family model, they would have had to pay a large premium. With this new title, they can target families in a supporting editorial environment," said Publisher Ed Kelley.

Mariah Media's Outside has published an annual family vacation guide for the past two years. The newsstand-only issue stays on sale for three months, and distributes 225,000 copies.

Outside Publisher Scott Parmalee said newsstand sales for Outside's Family Vacation this year have been strong, and that ad pages increased 15% over the previous year to 46. A third issue will appear in March '98, but no plans have been made to increase frequency.

Travel & Leisure Golf, being developed by former Time Inc. Corporate Editor Jim Gaines, will focus on golf vacations. Decisions on the launch will be made after the results of the initial test are analyzed.

MORE THAN GOLF

"The shorthand version would be to call it Golf Aficionado, which means we are treating golfers like a community of people interested in other things as well as golf," Mr. Gaines said. "It's for people for whom golf is a pleasure rather than an ambition."

Purcell Publishing's Links, published seven times a year, already explores the intersection of golf and vacations, as does Golf & Travel, a new quarterly from Turnstile Publishing Co. (Turnstile Chairman Rance Crain is president of Crain Communications and editor in chief of Advertising Age.)

Golf & Travel plans to increase frequency to every other monthly next March,

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