Upping frequency: Forbes bulks up for 'FYI' lifestyle title

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In a bid to bring more lifestyle advertising into one of the magazine industry's most venerable family operations, Forbes is readying changes at its spending-it offshoot Forbes FYI.

Next year the quarterly will bump up to six-times-a-year frequency. It will also codify its trademark whimsy-laden approach to the rich-guy's life-which will remain overseen by Editor Christopher Buckley, the noted writer and humorist-into a more standardized magazine format, with regular departments covering, for instance, cars, home design and travel.

"It becomes a real magazine at this point," Mr. Buckley said. "I greatly fear I will have to work a lot harder."

The title will likely double edit staff to around 14, Mr. Buckley said, and under new VP-Publisher Jack Laschever, Forbes FYI will have a few dedicated sales staff. An insider put the investment in the low seven figures.

"A quarterly magazine doesn't have the critical mass advertisers need," said Forbes' President-Publisher Jim Berrien. Additionally, Mr. Berrien touted an increased ability to offer advertisers multi-title packages.

rosier future?

Forbes FYI is polybagged alongside its mother title and sent to its subscribers, which numbered about 880,000 at the end of last year. A one-time ad page in FYI costs around $43,000, Mr. Laschever said, but that will increase when the frequency changes.

The ad downturn from which business magazines are just now beginning to emerge led to distress at Forbes, which cut staff, stopped matching employee contributions to 401(k) plans and sold off family art. But one executive familiar with the company said earlier this year it gave out raises. And another insider paints the investment in FYI as evidence the company senses a rosier future.

"These are Scots. They hate spending money," Mr. Buckley said, referring to the Forbes brothers.

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