Us Style sees setback

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Citing poor economic conditions, Wenner Media has postponed its launch of Us Style, which DMNews first reported on in October.

Us Style, conceived as a spin-off to the company's celebrity glossy, Us Weekly, was to have launched in March 2009 with a circulation of 450,000. The company is now setting its sights on a fall 2009 release.

“We think that the way to expand our brand is to expand horizontally rather than vertically,” Gary Armstrong, CMO of Wenner Media, said in an October interview with DMNews. “Style is an area that a certain portion of our audience responds to positively, so we're giving them a concentrated version of the style content in Us Weekly.”

The distribution strategy for the first issue of Us Style was to send 200,000 copies directly to Us Weekly subscribers, setting out the other 250,000 on newsstands. Four issues, released at key shopping seasons, were planned for the magazine's first year, and executives hoped the magazine would be successful enough to go monthly in 2010 with a rate base of up to 800,000.

A statement from Us Weekly Publisher Vicci Lasdon Rose noted that Us Style had confirmed “a number of advertisers” and that the company was still “fully committed to extending the Us Weekly brand's leadership in beauty and fashion.” The company declined to comment further.

Us Weekly had a total paid and verified circulation of 1,905,014 — slightly above its 1.9 million rate base — for the six months ended June 30. That magazine has been growing steadily since at least 2003, when its total circulation averaged 1,229,737.

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