Conde Nast Will Lift Cargo's Frequency to 10 in 2005

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Conde Nast Publications Inc. next year will increase the frequency of men's shopping title Cargo to 10 issues from its current six.


The magazine, modeled after its Lucky women's shopping title, will go monthly in February, with July/August and December/January as double issues.


"It was actually part of the business plan, but there [also] was overwhelming response from the readers," said Ilene Cohen, consumer marketing director for Cargo at Conde Nast Publications parent Advance Magazine Group, New York.


Cargo began in March with a circulation rate base of 300,000. It is designed as a buyers guide for men, running photographs, brief descriptions and prices for items like apparel, automobiles, electronics, grooming products and gifts. Readers can stick tabs on pages of interest.


Lucky set the trend for Cargo three years ago with a formula of matching apparel and accessories with accompanying price listings. Lucky's rate base of 900,000 is up 80 percent since its December 2000 launch.


Two issues of Cargo have been put together so far. Though Cohen would not confirm, Cargo's rate base likely will rise next year. An announcement on this change is expected soon. The publisher also will not raise Cargo's $15 subscription price for 10 issues. A single copy costs $3.50 on newsstands.


Like many magazines, Cargo uses direct mail, cross-promotions with the privately held Advance Magazine Group titles and special offers and sweepstakes at www.cargomag.com to boost subscriptions.


"The number of mailings has been fairly high, but we're keeping them at a significant level," Cohen said, declining to give more information.


Newsstand sales, she said, were performing above budget.


Cargo, like all other Advance and Conde Nast magazines, does not disclose information beyond that required by advertisers and third-party auditors.


Observing the response to the first two issues and the early marketing efforts, Cargo's ratio of net subscriptions versus newsstand sales stands at 60:40.


"My general impression is that we have a product that seems to be really speaking to and hitting the nerve of people who are responding to our mailings and promotions," Cohen said.


Separately, Conde Nast named Beth Fuchs Brenner vice president and publisher of a new home-focused version of Lucky and Cargo that will launch next year. Brenner was vice president and publisher of Self magazine for a decade.


Content in Conde Nast's home shopping title will focus on how consumers visualize living spaces like lofts, houses and apartments.


Brenner's replacement at Self is Kimberly Anderson Kelleher. She was publisher of Conde Nast's Golf for Women magazine, appointed to that post in 2002 after a year as advertising director.


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