Hearst Targets Women With Weekend Magazine

Hearst Magazines is testing a new lifestyle magazine called Weekend for affluent women 35 years and up whose work-filled weekdays make them yearn more than ever for Saturdays and Sundays.

Oversized like O, another Hearst title, Weekend debuts June 14 with a distribution of 500,000 copies to newsstands, bookstores, grocery chains and airports. The magazine's cover price will be $3.99.

“There's no magazine dedicated to this concept,” said Susan Wyland, editor-in-chief of Weekend. “The week has expanded and technology has made it possible to stay plugged in, so the weekend has assumed even more importance in our busy lives. We're longing for the weekends and we want to make the most of it.”

The nationwide launch comes before Hearst introduces a weekly magazine in August called Quick & Simple. The general-interest weekly takes on Bauer Publishing's Woman's World magazine with a similar $1.49 cover price and a focus on tips for women.

Weekend magazine is divided into two sections. The first, “Weekend at Home,” focuses on shopping, cooking, easy weekend projects, technology, organizing and learning to do new things.

“Weekend Away,” as the other section is called, has stories on getaways nationwide, day trips, road trips, three-day adventures, fashion and real estate.

The Home Depot Inc., Banana Republic, Kraft Foods, Revlon, Target Corp., Toyota Motor, Ford Motor Co. and Carnival Cruise Lines have signed up as charter advertisers.

Wyland is a veteran of women's magazines. She previously was editor of Lifetime, Real Simple and Martha Stewart Living.

Wyland is not worried that Weekend's focus collides with other newspaper-carried weekend magazines like USA Weekend, Parade or Life.

“These magazines are very celebrity-focused,” Wyland said. “They come out on the weekend, but they are not necessarily dedicated to making the most of your time on the weekend — which is Weekend's reason for being.”

Hearst plans to drop its second Weekend issue Aug. 16. The magazine is being promoted on its Web site at www.weekend.net and via subscription cards inserted in each issue. Three offers are under test, including 10 issues for $10 and the same number for $20.

Ads in other Hearst titles will support. E-mails to 4 million selected women from Hearst's database of 30 million will remind them about the latest title for sale.

“What I'm really looking to do is evaluate the consumer demand on newsstand sales for these first two issues,” said John Hartig, Hearst's senior vice president of consumer marketing and development. “In today's market, the risk is pretty great with launches. These two issues will anticipate the level of demand and frame the frequency discussion.”

Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters

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