Re-Tooled 'Worth' Launches as 'Robb Report Worth'

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Anyone interested in how the other one-half of 1% live may wish to take a look at the December 2003 issue of Robb Report Worth. That's the first issue of the remade version of Worth, which last published in March and was purchased out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy by CurtCo Robb Media.

In keeping with the Robb Report's focus on the highest-end consumers, Robb Report Worth will focus on financial and investment issues for the very upper-crust.

"This is strictly for the super-affluent," said CurtCo CEO Bill Curtis, a market he defines as those with annual incomes exceeding $500,000.

It's also trying to pull off the tricky transition of making an established title into an entirely different magazine. This is a move not recommended in Publishing 101, but the way in which Fairchild Publications has leveraged a new, tighter focus on its Details -- which had several incarnations at sibling company Conde Nast Publications -- into a long string of ad-thick issues may make that idea seem somewhat less daunting.

Robb Report Worth is shaving Worth's 506,000 circulation to 200,000, and is narrowing down its editorial lens as well. The main feature in its December issue is on building a 100-year plan for a family to manage its wealth; a key service piece looks at owning a stake in a private jet.

Managing Wealth
Though CurtCo executives stress that Robb Report Worth will focus on the finer points of managing wealth, while Robb Report concentrates on spending it, "passion investment" pieces in the December issue include one on collecting luxury watches and the future investment potential of owning antique Bugatti automobiles.

The key differential between Robb Report Worth and Worth, said editor in chief Dwight Cass, is the new magazine is "jettisoning the wealth-building material" to focus on the issues of the "already wealthy."

The debut issue, said vice president and publisher Bob Fritze, is running just under 100 ad pages. A one-time full-color ad page is $26,980. About 10% of its circulation will be derived from newsstand sales, where Robb Report Worth will retail for a hefty $6. New advertisers to the company brought in by the title, said Mr. Curtis, include Goldman Sachs and insurance giant Chubb. The goal is for the title to have 50% of "non-endemic advertising," and categories there that the title will focus most strongly on, Mr. Curtis said, such as automotive and watches and jewelry.

'A challenge'
One media buyer called the new positioning "a challenge," though, and warned that the small size of Robb Report Worth may make it hard to attract a wider range of advertisers. Non-endemic advertisers, said Charles Valan, vice president of strategic print services at Universal McCann, New York, "can go into many different areas, or may want to go with a little more broad-based" title.

Through September, Robb Report's ad pages were up 6%, to 732, according to Publishers Information Bureau.

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