American Mass-Market Magazines

By Alan Nourie; Barbara Nourie | Go to book overview
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From the start, Time assumed that People Weekly would appeal mainly to women, since women tend to be more interested in other people's lives than men. As it correctly turned out, the majority of readers were women (58 percent) and an even higher percentage (75 percent) were the purchasers of the magazine. 39 Sixty-one percent of the readers were between the ages of eighteen and thirty- four, and had a median household income of $21,107, 40 with 48 percent having attended or graduated from college. 41 Over the years, the ratios have not changed drastically. In 1984, the median age of a People Weekly reader was thirty-three, with a median income of $28,000. Sixty percent of the readers were women, and 42 percent of the overall readership had attended or graduated from college. 42 In 1988, the median income was $30,769, with the median age about thirty-five years old. Women were still the primary readers, constituting 65 percent. 43

In recent years People Weekly has relied less on celebrities to fill each issue. Today only 40 percent of the stories are related to the entertainment industry. The stories that are included about the stars deal more with their lives and the problems they are facing than with the trappings of being a celebrity. The uncelebrated individuals who are included are there because of their achievements or the extraordinary circumstances in which they find themselves. Either way, there is something very human in their stories that is shared by and with the reader. As Patricia Ryan stated it, "They're getting a great big chunk of America."44

"Joining the People Parade," Business Week, 16 May 1977, p. 71.
John Mack Carter, "The Pros Said It Couldn't Be Done, But People's Making It," Folio, February 1976, p. 60.
"Time, Inc. to Test People," Advertising Age, 13 October 1973, p. 8.
Carter, p. 58.
"Time, Inc, To Test People," p. 8.
Bob Donath, "People Role," Advertising Age, 18 February 1974, p. 47.
Carter, p. 58.
Edwin Diamond, "Celebrating Celebrity," New York, 13 May 1985, p. 24.
Carter, p. 60.
"Joining the People Parade," p. 71.
Ira Ellenthal, "People: A Good Reason to Advertise" Product Marketing, 23 November 1981, p. 23.
Martha Nolan, "MedianLines: New and of Note," Madison Avenue, May 1984, p. 115.
Nolan, p. 115.
Stephen Grover, "Grocery-Day Gossip Is Ringing Up Profit at People Magazine," Wall Street Journal, 6 May 1976, p. 1.
Carter, p. 60.
Nolan, p. 115.
"Gerard Mosler, Puzzle Master," People Weekly, 11 March 1985, p. 96.


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American Mass-Market Magazines
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