Sixteen months of research suggested the existence of a distinct unclaimed magazine niche-value-conscious women under personal and professional time constraints-but Publisher Diane Oshin had a difficult time focusing on the big picture.
"We literally had 12 weeks to hire staff, sell advertising and produce an issue if we wanted to be on shelves for back-to-school," she recalls. "We knew we had something good, but the short time frame kept us focused on what was immediately ahead of us."
Initially pooh-poohed in some circles as little more than a Time Inc. attempt to cozy up to Wal-Mart Stores, the sole seller of the title, All You has outpaced expectations since its September 2004 debut. The magazine is delivering on its 500,000 rate base and then some. All You has attracted to its pages not only the promised consumer package-goods giants (ConAgra) but also marketers of cars (Ford Motor Co.), pharmaceuticals (Allergan) and clothing (Levi Strauss & Co.).
Ms. Oshin, 48, deflects all credit for any early successes, attributing them to a central premise that was sure to resonate with female members of the Wal-Mart Nation. "We set out to present a realistic picture of their lives," she says. "We've tried to tap into the financial and time pressures they're under."
Ms. Oshin is more than passingly familiar with the latter. A mother of two boys, she started her career as an account exec at JWT and Ogilvy & Mather. Attending a luncheon event, she had the good fortune to be placed at a table with then Woman's Day Editor in Chief (and current Good Housekeeping Editor in Chief) Ellen Levine, who plucked her from the agency world.
"After the event, I went back to the ad department and said, `You've got to find that woman and hire her,' " Ms. Levine says.
Ms. Oshin rose in the ranks at Hachette Filipacchi U.S.'s Woman's Day to associate advertising director, then spent three years at Conde Nast Publications' Vogue as advertising director. She arrived at Time Inc. title Parenting as publisher in 1994, then was bumped up to group publisher of the company's Parenting Group in March 2000.
Asked which entities she sees as competition for ad dollars that might otherwise be shoveled into All You, Ms. Oshin quips: "Time-not Time magazine, but time allotted to reading other magazines."
"I've come home to speaking to the mass women's market again," Ms. Oshin says with a laugh. "It's sort of a back-to-the-future thing."