Mattone Named 'Spry' Publisher

The Publishing Group of America has hired Bob Mattone, previously in charge of New York ad sales for TV Guide, as the launch publisher for Spry, a new newspaper-distributed magazine that will launch in September. With a planned circulation of 9 million, PGA is calling Spry "the largest health magazine launch of all time."

PGA also publishes American Profile, with circulation of 9 million, and Relish, a monthly newspaper-distributed title focusing on food, which launched with a circulation of 6.8 million before upping to 9 million in 2007.

Spry will target America's aging baby-boomer cohort--the largest demographic group in American history--with information and advice for healthy lifestyles, as well as food, beauty, travel, entertainment and shopping. The monthly magazine is the cornerstone of a multi-platform brand that also offers podcasts, health fairs, a health search engine, and mobile content.

In addition to TV Guide, Mattone has worked in ad sales at SI for Kids, ESPN the Magazine, and Popular Mechanics, as well as in Hearst's direct-response marketing division. He has directed the creation of new mobile content services and also has experience in custom publishing.



Beginning with its flagship, American Profile, PGA has sought to enter the weekly and monthly newspaper magazine market by focusing on markets that were under-served by older titles, like Parade and USA Weekend, which dominate the so-called "A" and "B" counties (and forced out Time Inc.'s revived Life earlier this year). By aggregating smaller "C" and "D" counties, PGA offers advertisers comparable reach in untapped markets.

Spry's launch was announced simultaneous with the acquisition of PGA by private-equity investors from Shamrock Capital Growth Fund and Bain Capital Ventures in early December. It rides a wave of interest in healthy living, along with a host of other acquisitions and new launches by magazine publishers.

Most recently, in December U.S. News & World Report signed a deal to make video content from HealthiNation available at In October, The New York Times teamed with A.D.A.M., a company that maintains an online compendium of information on health conditions, treatments and insurance, to deliver the new service. The Times site is launching a new section with news and analysis on health-related topics.

In mid-September, Hearst bought, a site that engages consumers with the promise of a quiz that determines their "real age," based on various health and lifestyle factors. And in June, Meredith Corporation bought, a consumer-health search engine.

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