New Magazine Sets Sail On A Stormy Economic Sea

Monthly Publication Annapolis Lifestyle For 'Sophisticated' Set

March 30, 1992|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,Staff writer

At a time when publications are losing advertising income, laying off employees and cutting back issues, an Annapolis publisher is launching a new magazine -- and says he's turning advertisers away.

The first issue of Annapolis Lifestyle, a full-color, glossy monthly, published by Z Communications Inc., hits the streets this week.

Publisher Richard A. Zmuda says the magazine aspires to become Annapolis' version of Smithsonian magazine, appealing to a "sophisticated readership" with profiles and lifestyle stories, fiction and regular columns on fine art, wine and interior design.

For five years, Zmuda has published The Spectrum, a national trade journal covering industries that serve senior citizens. By using the trade journal's resources -- office space, desktop publishing equipment, a graphic artist -- and by relying completely on free-lance writers and photographers, Zmuda can cut costs and selectively accept ads, he said.

Unlike most ad-driven publications, Annapolis Lifestyle plans to run ads in no more than one-quarter of the magazine and accept only one ad perindustry in each issue, Zmuda said.

After sending information andad rates to about 350 potential advertisers, "They called us."

"We haven't had to sell ads," said Zmuda, who plans to hire a marketingdirector.

In the 48-page April issue, readers will find features on a yacht designer, Lt. Gov. Melvin "Mickey" Steinberg, Anne ArundelMedical Center and the sport of beagling, or hunting with beagles. They'll also find three fiction stories, a two-page color photo essay and columns on antiques, personal finance and restaurants. The magazine will regularly accept poetry from high school students.

Zmuda says his approach will differ from that of Annapolitan, a monthly magazine that cut its February and December issues this year because of the recession and low ad revenue during winter months. The magazine combined January and February issues and plans a similar double issue for November.

Zmuda said he considers Annapolis Lifestyle a regional magazine, with a focus extending beyond Annapolis to Northern Prince George's County, Baltimore, Washington and Columbia. Unlike Annapolitan, Annapolis Lifestyle will include fiction and will not include event calendars, he said.

"We're trying to be more editorially diverse," he said.

Annapolitan publisher Philip Evans said he had heard someone was starting a magazine but hadn't seen it.

"In these economic times, I can't say we welcome new competition, but it's alwaysgoing to be there," Evans said. "We've been here 22 years, and in the course of that time, there's always new competition coming along.

"We feel we've carved out a niche," he said. "We're prepared to continue doing the same thing we've been doing, producing a magazine that reflects the quality of life in Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay area."

Above all, Zmuda said, Annapolis Lifestyle will offer an outlet for local writers and photographers, who will be paid $100 per assignment. Zmuda said he expects no shortage, and that story proposals have poured in.

He expects a circulation of 6,000, through subscriptions -- $19.50 per year -- and newsstand sales, at $2 an issue.

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