NEW WOMAN TO RUN FINAL ISSUE IN JANUARY
Byline: Lisa Lockwood
NEW YORK — Rodale Press Inc. pulled the plug Wednesday on New Woman.
The magazine was headed by Judith Coyne, editor in chief, and Laura McEwen, publisher.
Rodale, which bought New Woman in July 1997, had reportedly planned to invest $25 million to $30 million in the publication. The 29-year-old magazine was previously owned by Primedia, which bought it from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
“We have a great staff, and it’s sad not to be able to continue,” said Coyne Wednesday. The January issue will be the last.
A spokesman for Rodale told WWD, “It came down to the issue of circulation. It was difficult to achieve where we wanted to be. With the whole shakeout in the subscription and newsstand business, it was hard for us to build leadership in that area. It’s very challenging right now.”
New Woman has a rate base of 1.1 million. For the first half of 1999, subscription sales were up 9.2 percent, but newsstand sales declined 21.9 percent, according to Audit Bureau of Circulation.
The Rodale spokesman said the company looked at many options before deciding to close the magazine. New Woman employs 45 in its New York office. The spokesman said staffers would get a “comprehensive severance package” and there would be opportunities to move within Rodale.
In 1998, ad pages were down 30 percent, but business had started to reverse itself this year. The magazine carried 683.3 ad pages in 1999, a 3 percent increase. Most of the gain occurred in the second half, according to Media Industry Newsletter.
Rodale publishes Men’s Health, the 11-year-old magazine that quickly established itself as a formidable competitor in the men’s market.
Coyne joined New Woman in November 1998 from Glamour, where she had been executive editor. Under her leadership, New Woman was redesigned, with heavier paper, new features and an emphasis on beauty and health.
Coyne brought several Conde Nast staffers with her, including Marcos Gago, former art director of Vogue, who was New Women’s art director; Christine Fellingham, former beauty features editor of Glamour, who became beauty director, and Jill Herzig, former senior articles editor at Glamour, who became executive editor. Karen Fernand was fashion director.
New Woman tried to focus on a more mature reader than Cosmopolitan’s or Glamour’s. It was heavy on realistic fashion, featured models and not celebrities on the cover, and ran stories relating to confident women in their 30s. It was aimed at 25-to-40-year-old women, with an emphasis on beauty and fashion.