'Rolling Stone' publisher tackles 'Family Life'

August 13, 1993|By Sandra Crockett | Sandra Crockett,Staff Writer

In the beginning, there was only rock 'n' roll.

Now there are car pools and soccer practices and PTAs.

To tap into the expanding interests of maturing rock fans, Rolling Stone magazine creator Jann Wenner has added a new publication, Family Life, to his growing list, which also includes Men's Journal. His newest effort hit newsstands this week with a $2.50 cover price. (A one-year subscription is $12.97.)

"I like to publish magazines that I feel passionate about," Mr. Wenner says from the New York offices of his company, Straight Arrow Publishers Inc.

Family life is a topic about which one would presume Mr. Wenner is passionate these days. He and his wife, Jane, are raising three children, ages 8, 6 and 3.

The magazine, whose target audience is parents of children ages 3 to 12, was the brainchild of writer and former Harper's editor Nancy Evans, now Family Life's editor-in-chief.

"There are a lot of good family magazines out there, but they mostly focus on maternity and motherhood," Ms. Evans says.

"I don't think men feel comfortable looking at those."

The premiere issue of the slick, oversized bimonthly magazine HTC has 184 pages, including 76 ad pages, and a distribution of 300,000 copies. Two issues will be published in 1993 and five in 1994.

But will already busy parents take the time to read the magazine?

"They don't need to sit down and read it in one fell swoop," Ms. Evans says.

The stories (topics in the premiere issue include computers, soccer, dinosaurs and Tipper Gore) are usually contained on two or three pages and list reference materials in a box.

Industry analysts say the timing is right for a new magazine.

A recent report by the New York-based investment bank Veronis, Suhler & Associates Inc. predicts revenues for media, including magazines, will grow through the next five years.

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