Life Coming Back From the Dead as a Weekend Magazine

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Time Inc. kicked off the fourth incarnation for Life with yesterday's announcement that the publication will return as a weekend magazine.

The 68-year-old ad-supported title will be distributed Fridays initially in more than 50 daily newspapers with a circulation of 12 million and an estimated readership of 26 million. It will launch in October with roughly 20 pages, though its trim size is not known.

No newsstand presence is planned, nor a cover price.

Time Inc., New York, said the new Life will rely on its well-honed mix of editorial and images capturing emotion, human interest and day-to-day issues. It will include a service component geared to ideas for family weekends.

Life started in 1936 as a weekly. Folding in 1972, it was revived as a monthly in 1978, then briefly went weekly during the first Gulf War before ceasing publication in 2000. Since then, Life has produced special issues and books, business lines extant since the title's birth.

This time round, Time Inc. has dedicated heavy hitters to shepherd arguably the magazine industry's most resurrected denizen. Andy Blau, former general manager of Time magazine, is Life's president. Peter Bauer, former president of People magazine, is publisher. And Bill Shapiro, former managing editor of Time Inc. Custom Publishing, will hold that position at Life.

As a weekend magazine, Life will compete with Advance Publications' Parade and Gannett Co. Inc.'s USA Weekend. It will have its own ad sales staff.

Life certainly has distribution power. Newspapers that will carry the title include Tribune Co.'s Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and Newsday, and Knight Ridder's Miami Herald, San Jose Mercury News and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Also, Life will gain carriage in the New York Daily News, The Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, McClatchy Co.'s Sacramento Bee and Minneapolis' Star Tribune, and The Record in Bergen County, NJ.

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