FIRST UP: The blitz of new women’s sports magazines is about to begin, and Sports Illustrated Women/Sport is the first out of the gate, hitting newsstands Monday, April 21. A very pregnant Sheryl Swoopes is the cover subject, photographed in her WNBA Houston Comets jersey. The cover line reads, “A Star Is Born: Sheryl Swoopes and the WNBA are both due in June.”
With a cover price of $2.95, the issue contains 170 pages, including 70 ad pages from Nike, Ralph Lauren Polo Sport fragrance, Slim Fast, Ford, Fila, L.A. Gear, Panasonic, Izod Club, General Motors, Davidoff Cool Water Woman, Crystal Light, Reebok, Ambush and Lady Foot Locker.
SI Women/Sport will be published twice in 1997 (again in September), with a controlled circulation of 600,000.
Among the features are a cover story on five members of the women’s U.S. Olympic basketball team; a humorous take by E. Jean Carroll on “bad boy” Dennis Rodman and an essay by Anna Quindlen entitled, “The Irony of Iron,” exploring her discovery of brute strength. Athletes profiled include tennis star Martina Hingis, figure skater Tonya Harding and downhill skier Picabo Street.
Next up: Weider’s Jump and Conde Nast Sports for Women.
HOUSE BROKEN: “I feel that nowadays, fashion isn’t the message; lifestyle is the message,” said William Norwich, who will become an editor at large at Conde Nast House & Garden next month. He will relinquish the same title at Vogue, where he has worked eight years, but will continue to write the Style Diary in the New York Observer.
“The idea is to bring some sparkle and some laughs and a little human stuff to the magazine. I’ll also write about houses and the people who live in them,” said Norwich.
MARCH GAINERS: Apparel, footwear and accessories ad revenues continued to climb in March and showed the fourth-biggest revenue gain among the categories tracked by the Publishers Information Bureau. For the month, ad revenues rose 17 percent to $86.1 million. Toiletries and cosmetics ad revenues were up 9.9 percent to $95.2 million, according to PIB.
For the first quarter, apparel, footwear and accessories revenues were up 14.9 percent to $159.9 million, while toiletries and cosmetics revenues gained 10.3 percent to $232.6 million.
MAKING PARTNER: Paul Wilmot has bought a majority stake in Croft Public Relations, which handles such fashion accounts as John Bartlett and the Keith Haring estate, and he will be managing partner of the firm.
He’ll also be working with Coach and Oscar de la Renta — the man and the company — on strategy to increase the designer’s presence domestically and internationally.
As for the name Croft, that’s history. It’s now Paul Wilmot Communications.
KERWIN TO AD AGE: Anne Marie Kerwin will join Advertising Age on Monday as senior editor, covering the newspaper and magazine beat.
She had been editor of Folio First Day.
Kerwin succeeds Keith Kelly, who, as reported, has joined the New York Daily News as a media columnist.