Girls' Life publisher to launch men's magazine

`Serious, thoughtful' Adam goes on sale nationwide today

January 15, 2002|By Gus G. Sentementes | Gus G. Sentementes,SUN STAFF

Adam, a new men's magazine published by a Baltimore company, hits newsstands nationwide for the first time today at a time of dwindling advertising dollars in a crowded field.

The "intelligent, thoughtful" magazine for men between the ages of 24 and 34 tackles topics ranging from current events to men's lifestyle issues. Executive publisher and founding editor Thomas Dworetzky said Adam will try "to present thoughtful and serious journalism in a lighter and more colorful way."

The first issue is dedicated to a review of last year's events, with the debut of its "annual 21," a listing of the best in 21 categories, including TV shows, news events and leaders.

"I find much that is laudatory in men's magazines today, but I do think there's a place for a magazine that does not celebrate the excesses of a social life," Dworetzky said yesterday. "I think some of the rowdiness portrayed in some men's magazines is not for everyone, and it's not for Adam. This is a magazine you could give to your mother, or leave around for your girlfriend to see."

Adam is published by Monarch Services Inc., which was in the game business for years before launching Girls' Life, a magazine for teen-age girls, in 1994. That magazine is Monarch's main revenue source.

But Monarch, which made $4.2 million in fiscal 2001, embarked last year on a Girls' Life-themed restaurant and entertainment concept that creates "a teen social scene," as part of a long-term strategy to grow revenue.

Two weeks ago, Monarch opened its first outlet next to its headquarters on Harford Road. It features a restaurant, a video arcade and recreation areas that allow kids to surf the Internet and play musical instruments.

Monarch is pursuing a similar tack with Adam. The company recently opened Adam Leaf & Bean, a cigar-and-coffee shop in the Galleria in Lutherville, as part of a long-term strategy to help build the magazine brand, said Jackson Y. Dott, Monarch's president.

Adam's first issue of 96 pages contained just two pages of advertising. Total U.S. magazine advertising revenue in December was down 11.2 percent to $1.4 billion compared to December 2000, according to the Magazine Publishers Association.

Rem Rieder, senior vice president and editor of the American Journalism Review, said that even in better times, the failure rate of new magazines is still high.

"You need deep pockets to get it up and keep it going," Rieder said. And a magazine for men that's not about "sex and sports and beer and adventures" may have a harder time succeeding.

For a small company, Monarch has those deep pockets that can help keep the magazine in circulation. According to regulatory filings, Monarch has more than $5.5 million in the bank from when the company sold its games division to Hasbro for $6 million in 1998.

It also has the connections. Monarch secured access to 8,000 retail outlets nationwide through a deal with Warner Distribution Services, which also distributes Girls' Life. Monarch printed 250,000 copies of the first Adam.

Adam sells for $2.95 on newsstands or $9.95 for an annual subscription of six issues.

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