The world, and the magazine biz, have changed since 1974 when Time Inc. launched People, and Managing Editor Martha Nelson tells me over lunch at Michael's the powerhouse weekly (paid circ 3.2 million) isn't standing pat. Right this minute they're newsstand-testing Your Diet, a spinoff to cash in on our national obsession with weight, fast-food, carbs, gourmet food and fitness. The first and very positive reader and ad shop e-mails, even a few ad buys, are coming in. "We'll do it again in October and then it'll be decision time: 2X, 4X, 10X or even monthly." Also in October they'll do a single-themed issue of People itself, "Heroes Among Us," citing "real people, not celebrities. It's been a bad year for the country and people are looking for affirmation," says Martha. She was going with that Reagan cowboy hat cover but Time publishes a day earlier and got the call. Publisher Kathleen Kayse says they'll do 51 regular issues and two "Style Watch" extras this year. What about ads? "The first quarter was tough but package goods," says Kathy. But beauty/fashion, auto and package goods pages are all up for the second half and new advertisers include Polo Jeans, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein. And a partnership deal with Kraft is in the works, no details yet.Martha, maybe the best-wired news maven in town, was filling me in on J. Lo ("she still sells magazines"), ditzy Britney, Michael Jackson ("does anyone still think he's innocent?"), Scott Peterson ("a cover only if he's guilty"), John & Teresa Kerry ("very accessible so far") and the First Family: "He's more likely to open up than she (Laura) is. Did you know she smokes but never in public and no one will talk about it?"
Vintage New Yorker cover, that $10 bill with Ray Charles' face.
Kiplinger's Personal Finance grabbed Saatchi & Saatchi media planner (on the Toyota account) Rich Fimbres to beef up their L.A. office account staff. Through May the mag's ad pages were up 7.4%.
Sports PR guy Joe Joe Goldstein celebrates another birthday July 21 at the Columbus Club on East 69th in Manhattan. Joe flacked for Rockne, Jim Braddock and Honus Wagner.
Coming next week, inside Travel & Leisure magazine with Publisher Ellen Asmodeo. They're up YTD in ad pages over 2003, which was up over 2002 which...well, you get the idea.