MEDIA PROFILE: Lifetime magazine offers a lighthearted look at everyday life

If your pitch is suitable for most women's magazines, you might want to think again before sending it to Lifetime. This is the title for 'real' 30-something women who have a sense of humor.

If your pitch is suitable for most women's magazines, you might want to think again before sending it to Lifetime. This is the title for 'real' 30-something women who have a sense of humor.

Standing apart from the rush to grab consumers in their teens and 20s is Lifetime magazine, a new glossy trying to find a place in the jam-packed lives of 30-something women. An outgrowth of the first women's TV network, Lifetime isn't a parenting or home-decorating title; it focuses on providing a humorous, joyful, and relaxing escape from the everyday. "We're doing stories about real women in their 30s who are doing amazing things," says executive editor Pamela Guthrie O'Brien. "Send us the message that we're sending back to our readers. We're covering realistic fashion, beauty, and health for a specific age group. Lifetime has a sense of humor, and your pitch needs to reflect that." Lifetime is concerned with providing its readers with the most up-to-date and trendy lifestyle information, but is mostly focused on publishing realistic and affordable options for women on the go. The entertaining ideas are simple, the decorating tips are affordable, and the fashion is undemanding. While the magazine does not have a specific mission statement, its aim is to help women with as many different areas of their lives as possible, whether it's the realms of health or beauty or cooking. "We'll never feature a food story that will take you hours," says O'Brien. "Our point is that you can still make it, but in a more fun, relaxed way. We'll give you quick, easy recipes because we know how valuable your time is." Launched last month, Lifetime is a joint venture between Lifetime Entertainment Services and Hearst Magazines. The magazine launched as a bimonthly with a circulation of 500,000, and will go monthly with the September 2003 issue. It captures the essential nature of the network even as it tries to establish its own unique personality. Lifetime's content is different from the network's, save for a few points of synergy. "Intimate Portrait," "Our Lifetime Commitment," and the "Lifetime Original Movie" will cross over into print with celebrity interviews, exploration of women's issues, and real women's stories. Story ideas for the first issue of Lifetime were largely generated by the editorial staff, but the magazine does claim to be open to pitches across the board. "Because we're brand-new, we haven't been pitched that much," says O'Brien. "But now that we have our first issue, we are welcoming anything that is appropriate. Our first issue will really give people a sense of what we're doing." Some articles featured in the premiere issue include "Secrets you'd only tell a stranger," "Lifetime friends," and "To your health: How to be thin in a big fat world." Sections in this uncluttered, lighthearted magazine include fashion, beauty, travel, and fun. One thing for PR people to remember is that while this magazine targets women in their 30s, the editors will never publish an article about parenting, relationships, or the workplace. They want Lifetime to be an escape from the world, and a way for women to completely focus on themselves. Edelman's Alison Berliner has been successful with two pitches for Lifetime that will be featured in future issues. One is a story about Berliner and a close friend who gave each other tremendous support after Berliner's husband and her friend's boyfriend were both killed. Berliner pitched her personal story to Lifetime, and found the magazine to be extraordinarily helpful, responsive, and approachable. "Mine is an evergreen story," says Berliner. "They're looking for ongoing, inspiring stories that give women hope and inspiration. They've been very nice and responsive." With the second pitch, Berliner got a feature on her client, a disabled woman who paints with her mouth. The magazine has a three-month lead-time on stories, and its editors prefer pitches to arrive by snail mail and to be addressed to the editor of the relevant section. When pitching Lifetime, PR people must remember that this is not a traditional women's magazine. "We want our readers to kick off their shoes, relax, and enjoy it," says O'Brien. "We're not going to tell them how to be a better mother or wife. Our mission is to love you the way you are, and to help you enhance your lifestyle. Most women's magazines have an earnest tone, whereas Lifetime has humor and attitude." ----- Contact list Lifetime Address 1790 Broadway, 11th floor, New York, NY 10019 Tel/Fax (212) 649-2800; 649-3845 Website www.lifetimemag.com Editor-in-chief Sally Koslow Exec. editor Pamela Guthrie O'Brien Deputy editor Cathy Cavender Lifestyle editor Nancy Hessel Weber Beauty director Kathy Miller-Kramer Fashion director Donna Duarte News editor Sharman Stein Entertainment editor Deborah Baer Senior editor Darcy Jacobs Features editor Laura Kalehoff

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