Tools & Resources: Startup Closeup: In Touch Weekly

In Touch Weekly is the latest from Bauer, which also publishes Women’s World and For Women First. It’s meant to satisfy Generation X and Y’s seemingly endless fascination with Hollywood celebrities — familiar ground trodden by People, Us, and Entertainment Weekly, available at checkout counters across the country. The first weekly issue will go on sale in October.

But In Touch Weekly is setting itself apart by targeting an audience that skews much younger than People or Us, which cater to a wide audience from 18 to 54 and beyond. "There really has not been a [celebrity-news] magazine targeted to the Generation X population," says David Jackson, group publisher for The Magazine Consultancy Inc., which will handle the magazine for Bauer. Jackson says the target audience — adults 18 to 34 — has grown up with the trappings of technology: cell phones, the Internet, email, and hundreds of cable TV channels. To appeal to them, a magazine has to be upbeat and fast-paced. That’s what he says In Touch will try to capture.

"The name In Touch makes sense for our readers," Jackson says. The demographics skew heavily female (70%), with a median household income of $60,132. More than three quarters of the magazine’s potential readers work; almost that many attended college. Half have children in the home and 44% are married. To reach them, In Touch plans a mix of photographs and shorter stories, providing many points of entry into each page. There will be quick-bite-size pieces of information, along with some more detailed stories.

A prototpe produced by Bauer said each issue will be about 100 pages; it’s been intensively test marketed. Comment on the prototype included how it doesn’t take a long time to go through the articles, the quality of the pictures and it’s relevance. “It’s for my generation and has more about the people I’m interested in.”

"The Hollywood connection is a fun one," Jackson says. He says a typical In Touch feature would cover the Oscars from several different angles. The focus is on entertainment and celebrity news, but in a more reputable way than some of the tabloids you might find at checkout counters. "In Touch is written with heart, soul, and integrity," reads material from the media kit. "It’s entertainment news wrapped with depth and intrigue." Other features will include health and beauty, home and family, and inspirational stories of celebrities and average people overcoming the odds. Jackson says the beauty section will show how to get "the look of a star on your own budget."

The editorial staff will be based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J. It’s still being assembled, although the editor in chief is Richard Spencer, who helped launch J-14 magazine and was an editor at Soap Opera Update. Both are Bauer titles. Bauer hopes to snag readers of its teen magazines when they grow up and start looking for an age-appropriate magazine. Bauer plans a rate base of 250,000, which is guaranteed through June 2003. The open rate is $17,500, with charter offers available. The national distribution targets 90% newsstand penetration. The cover price is $1.99.

The Magazine Consultancy has been reaching out to the advertising community and is in the process of hiring 10 sales reps for In Touch. Product categories include automotive, fashion, beauty, entertainment, and food/beverage.

To reach The Magazine Consultancy, call (212) 764-3344 or email

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