Tango Joins Dance of Women's Magazines

Life, love and the pursuit of happiness represents Tango's take on the Jeffersonian ideal.

The new magazine for affluent women ages 25-44 goes on sale in February with a mandate to cover love and relationships. Starting with a rate base of 100,000, the quarterly will be positioned to fill a psychographic gap between Hearst Corp.'s Cosmopolitan and O magazines.

“Tango's targeting people across the spectrum of relationships: to those looking to date and to those in established relationships,” said Andrea Miller, founder and president of Tango Publishing Inc., New York.

“To those who're looking, it's for inspiration and to help them establish something that turns out longer term. The same words apply to people who are in relationships. You want to be reminded that it takes work. There's a lot of misinformation out there. I look at the divorce rate [of 50 percent]. My theory is it's an expectations problem.”

The book opens with the Upfront section, including the editor's letter, reader feedback and a page called Venus Envy. The next department contains beauty, fashion and other fun stuff, followed by the Art of Being Together and Ever After. Columns and features round out the mix.

The debut issue closes at 108 pages, perfect bound on #3 grade paper stock, 119-pound for the cover and 50-pound for the text. Perry Judds, Shenandoah, VA, is the printer. Tango has a production relationship with the Washington Post Co. Comag Marketing Group LLC, a joint venture of Hearst and Conde Nast Publications, will distribute.

The magazine (www.tangomag.com) targets advertisers in fashion, beauty, automotive, liquor, jewelry, media, financial services and consumer products. Those committed include Gucci, Brioni, Belvedere Vodka, Axa Financial and Liz Lange Maternity. A four-color full-page ad costs $9,950 per the rate card. The back cover is $13,000. Charter advertisers get a special rate.

Tango management can be counted on not just to understand consumer needs, but also to gain advertiser and media buyer acceptance. Miller, for instance, is a former Enron executive, licensed private pilot and Columbia Business School graduate, where she hatched the Tango idea. Tango publisher Ellen Abramowitz held that title at Seventeen and Teen magazines.

Editor-in-chief Elise O'Shaughnessy once was executive editor of Vanity Fair. Creative director Patrick Mitchell was the founding designer of Wired. Kristine Kern was managing editor of Wired before taking that title at Tango. General manager Ava Seave held that position at several publishers including Scholastic Inc. and The Village Voice.

The board of advisers includes senior executives from Gucci, Surface magazine, Brioni, investment bank DeSilva & Phillips and The Nation. It has former executives from Playboy Enterprises, Primedia and Time Inc. as well.

On the editorial side, the magazine will rely on contributing editors such as Dr. Patricia Love, Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Sarah Kugelman, Dr. Lisa Masterson, Gail Sheehy and Leslie Bennetts.

Tango's consumer marketing starts with public relations from The Rosen Group, New York. A sales promotional budget is set aside for bookstores and supermarket chains nationwide.

Online, viral and e-mail campaigns via tangomag.com will support the effort. The Tango Tease e-mail newsletter will encourage forwards. Also, a strategic alliance with PerfectMatch.com, a lifestyle and entertainment site, will contribute.

Networking also will play a role. A partnership with 85 Broads, a group of current and former Goldman, Sachs & Co. women employees, will spread the word. Tango management similarly will mine its connections, competing in a niche served not just by O and Cosmopolitan, but also Elle, Marie Claire and Organic Style. Consumer curiosity about the name may help.

“It was a suggestion from a cousin who's a psychologist,” Miller said. “Dance is a great metaphor for a relationship. You can brand it, and suddenly that's what it stands for.”

Tango's cover price will be $4.99 in the United States and $5.99 in Canada. A yearly subscription is $14.95. Four issues will drop next year and six in 2006, when the rate base rises to 300,000. Sue Sidler is the circulation consultant. The 100,000-circulation base for the first year is atypical of many women's title launches.

“It's somewhat psychological,” Miller said. “It's a number that's sufficiently large to get people's attention and make an impact. And, as a startup, we have to be cognizant of the economics and financial considerations.”

Miller expects subscriptions will account for 60 percent of sales. Newsstand coverage includes booksellers Borders and Barnes & Noble, grocery stores and mass retailers by specific designated market areas.

“Our expectation is that Wal-Mart will want to see the first issue before they commit,” she said.

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