Business Week is throwing itself a unique birthday party. On Sept. 30, the magazine will host an exclusive media event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York with the theme "A Night of Two Parties." That night, of course, marks the first of the 2004 Presidential debates, and guests will be afforded the opportunity to watch on eight plasma screen televisions and relax on furniture provided by Design Within Reach.
The guest list is an impressive array of media and marketing types, including: Ken Chenault (CEO, American Express); Sam Palmisano (CEO, IBM); Terry Semel (CEO, Yahoo!); Maria Bartiromo (anchor, CNBC); David Granger (Editor in Chief, Esquire); Connie Chung (ABC News); Norm Pearlstine (editor at large, Time Inc.). With a mix like that, the debates in the room might prove as interesting as those on the screens. Maybe even more so.
The anniversary celebration has been ongoing for Business Week in print. "Innovation" has been selected as the theme for this year, and serves as fodder for a weekly column started back in March which highlights high-impact technological advances, such as the Internet and the computer, as well as profiles of great innovators, such as Kiichiro Toyoda, the founder of Toyota Motor Corp.
"We just decided that innovation is one of the greatest drivers of economic growth," said Editor in Chief Stephen Shepard. "It's really been an age of innovation."
Shepard, who has been mentioned as one of the finalists to become the first dean of City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism, said that while the yearly celebration has been mostly nostalgic, the anniversary issue will take a broad look ahead at what innovations can be expected to shape the business world in coming years.
Meanwhile, Shepard hopes the atmosphere at next week's party will be spirited, given the fact that the debates will be airing. "Hopefully, it will be like going to a sports bar to watch a football game," he said.
YM To Be Sold
Officials from Gruner + Jahr have confirmed that YM is up for sale, and attributed the move to the overall business conditions of the company. In a company memo, President and CEO Russell Denson said: "YM is a powerful brand among teen girls, and both readers and advertisers have responded positively to the recent "19-year-old mindset" positioning. Given G+J's single-title position in the teen market, however, our best course may be to focus the company's resources on markets in which we have a stronger position. In this regard, we have engaged AdMedia Partners to assist us with the evaluation of our alternatives, and they will be approaching a small number of companies to assess their interest in acquiring YM."
Gauging Women's Health
Robin Shallow of Rodale confirms that a newsstand-only test issue of Women's Health will launch on Oct. 5, with a second issue planned for January. The title, which will deliver a circulation of 450,000 at a $4.99 cover price, will be similar to Men's Health in that it will feature "great service for a healthy active lifestyle," she said, "but in a unique way--based on what our research says women today want, but aren't getting from the current competitive set." She emphasized that this should be viewed as a test, not a launch.
Mixed Media Metaphors Recently, The Week ran a poetry contest for the ad community, which was judged by founder Felix Dennis, who coincidentally (or not) had recently published new book of poetry, "A Glass Half Full."
The winning entry, "Ode to The Week," came from Danielle Koffer, media director of MPG (Media Planning Group) in New York:
"Where else can you find the recipe for the perfect Bloody Mary in the same issue that highlights differing views on Bush and Kerry?"
Life Goes On
The latest relaunch of the often relaunched Life debuts on October 1st via its new Friday newspaper insert distribution arrangement. Time Inc. has provided a sneak preview of the latest incarnation of the venerable title, which the company is referring to as the biggest magazine launch in its history.
Sarah Jessica Parker graces the initial cover. Besides great photography (Life took shots of three immigrant families arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport as they enter the United States for the first time), the issue includes a feature on 13-year-old surfer and shark attack survivor Bethany Hamilton as well as an insider's look at the Supreme Court. Given its Friday release date, Life will likely attract advertisers to its "The Great Weekend" section--a guide to what's going on in movies, entertainment, etc.
"We wanted to create a magazine that people would feel as well as read," said Managing Editor Bill Shapiro in a statement.
The debut issue will carry 18 pages of advertising, according to Publisher Peter Bauer, including pages from the food, auto, cosmetics, and toiletries, network and cable television, apparel, and pharmaceutical industries.
Life will be distributed in over 70 newspapers, reaching 12 million readers, including the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun; the Philadelphia Inquirer, Miami Herald, and the New York Daily News.
The winners of the "Magazine Experience Sweepstakes" were selected yesterday by the Magazine Publishers of America. Prizes were given to media executives and clients reflecting top experiences that motivate magazine usage based on the MPA-commissioned, Northwestern University readership study.
Carol Story, senior planner at BVK in Milwaukee, is the grand prize winner of a Crystal Cruise for two to the Caribbean.
First prize, a $500 gift card to Barnes & Noble, went to Teresa Cunningham, management supervisor at Vitrorobertson in San Diego, while second prize, an all-day spa package, went to Tanya Horning, associate director of strategy at OMD in Seattle.
In addition, five TiVo Series2 DVRs were handed out to third prize winners.
New Mini Magazine
Air Age Media launches DCX magazine on October 12. The new title, which will publish four times a year, focuses entirely on the world of die cast--i.e., scale models of cars, planes, trucks, and the like. The cover story will examine the fortieth anniversary of Hot Wheels.
Air Age Media, of course, is the publisher of Radio Control Car Action, along with six other enthusiast titles.