Magazine article Editor & Publisher

American Profile Targets Weeklies

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

American Profile Targets Weeklies

Article excerpt

20 investors put in $15 Million for national bid while Parade and USA Weekend keep battling for the weekend magazine market among daily newspapers, a third contestant is creeping into the mix with an eye toward the untapped niche of weekly newspapers.

American Profile, the brainchild of Publishing Group of America - a Nashville-based start-up company that opened its doors just five months ago - plans to launch its first issue in April 2000. A prototype of the supplement, handed out at the recent National Newspaper Association Conference and Trade Show in Boston, bears a striking resemblance to Parade and USA Weekend, but with a more "hometown" approach.

"It is our desire to serve small-town communities," said Dan Hammond, a former advertising executive and marketing official who is publisher of the new publication. "An opportunity exists to provide a weekly, full- color magazine supplement to those newspapers not currently served by the Sunday magazines."

Hammond, who most recently worked as a senior marketing officer for Ceridian Corp. of Minneapolis, said he is among 20 investors who have put up a combined $15 million to fund the new venture. He said he is glad to be compared to Parade or USA Weekend, neither of which supplements weekly newspapers.

But he said American Profile will differ sharply from them, running stories that have a decidedly different slant toward hometown readers. "A story will have to lift up life in the hometown community and portray a positive aspect of life there," said Hammond.

The prototype included a celebrity question-and-answer section on the first inside page, a feature story on a circus that visits only small towns, briefs about small-town people, and trivia, as well as recipes, health tips, and events. …

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