The TV listings weekly in May will launch a "mature" edition that will go out once a month to 3 million households that have at least one reader age 50-plus. The demographic edition will help the digest-size magazine grab a bigger slice of the lucrative, fast-growing drug ad category.
The demographically targeted edition will include a special section with an equal mix of editorial and ad pages. The color insert will be sandwiched between the magazine's glossy front pages and its b&w main section.
The demographic issue is part of a flurry of activity designed to make the magazine more competitive-and more than just a magazine. An ad campaign seeking to raise TV Guide's brand awareness began in February. Earlier this month, News Corp. merged the nation's third-largest-circulation magazine operation with TCI's United Video Satellite Group, stamping the TV Guide name on TCI's Prevue Channel and a redesigned Web site.
Demographic editions of magazines are not new-Time, Newsweek and others have offered them for some time.
TV Guide Senior VP-Publisher Richard Porter helped launch Reader's Digest's 7 million-circulation 50-plus edition when he held a similar position at that magazine in 1997.
For TV Guide's 50-plus edition, advertisers will be charged a sticker price of $75,000 per page, compared with more than $152,000 for the national edition, which guarantees a rate base of 11.8 million.
"If we give them a target audience at a lower cost up front, they are getting better efficiency for their advertising dollar," said Associate Publisher Thomas Harty.
TV Guide is focusing ad sales efforts on pharmaceutical and medical-supply companies. American Home Products Corp. and other blue-chip drug marketers have purchased ads for prescription drugs, while Polymedica signed on to promote home delivery of supplies for the treatment of diabetes.
Financial services and travel industry advertisers are also targets.
"We will look at every category out there, but the one that seems to be clamoring the most is in the pharmaceutical arena," said Benjamin Hurowitz, the magazine's pharmaceutical category manager.
Sixty-nine million Americans 50 and older use prescription and over-the-counter drugs, according to Mediamark Research Inc., more than any other age group.
A FIRST ATTEMPT
The 50-plus edition marks TV Guide's first attempt to reach a demographic audience, but not its last.
Plans call for an edition targeted at higher-income readers later this year and the magazine is exploring issues that target reader interests such as sports.
TV Guide's ad pages jumped 13.9% for the first two months of 1999 over the same