MEDIA PROFILE: Smart, established women will appreciate having More to read

More avoids how-tos, displays photos of stars without airbrushing or makeup, and demands no-frills pitches. As such, finds Sherri Deatherage Green, the title justifies its 'Smart Talk for Smart Women' motto.

More avoids how-tos, displays photos of stars without airbrushing or makeup, and demands no-frills pitches. As such, finds Sherri Deatherage Green, the title justifies its 'Smart Talk for Smart Women' motto.

Four-year-old More magazine doesn't cater to women with kids its age. More readers have been there and done that. Now, they want to expand their minds and pamper themselves. More is the brainchild of Myrna Blyth, who was editor-in-chief at Ladies Home Journal (LHJ) in the late 1990s. She found little in women's magazines that appealed to her demographic - the educated, career-minded, and plentiful 40- to 60-year-old baby boomers. So Blyth's publishing company, Meredith, let her borrow a few LHJ staffers to put together a couple of test issues. "We were going to do three, but the first two test issues, which we just sort of threw on the newsstand with little fanfare, caught on," recalls managing editor Ila Stanger. By February, Stanger expects circulation to reach 850,000 affluent, high-income readers. Nearly all of them are college-educated, many are married, but most don't have children living at home, Stanger notes. More's readers have entered a stage of life when they have the luxuries of freedom, time, and financial resources to concentrate on self-fulfillment. The magazine's tagline is "Smart Talk for Smart Women," and Stanger says it also attracts younger women who want to be addressed with intelligence. "We respect readers, and they respect us back, which is very heartening, especially when a lot of magazines are dumbing down deliberately." Unlike other women's magazines, More largely shuns how-to articles. "We think that by the time a woman is 40, she really knows how to do everything," Stanger says. Editors sometimes make exceptions in the health section or when providing makeup tips. Food coverage illustrates this policy and the magazine's overall focus. Instead of cramming pages with quick-to-fix, family-friendly recipes, More focuses on the joy of eating and cooking. The few recipes selected for each issue reflect how a woman expresses herself through cooking, Stanger says. Like any other major-label consumer magazine, More is not an easy pitch, PR professionals say. A few whose story ideas were spurned think one complicating factor may be that some of the magazine's staffers aren't old enough to fit its readership demographic. But persistence pays off, says Cathy Husid, national media relations specialist in the New York office of Houston-based Fogarty Klein Monroe. Husid kept pitching until she got a placement for a retreat center. Reporters later called on the client for subsequent stories. Media relations operatives also can reach More indirectly through the freelance writers who provide nearly all of its copy. Husid arranged an interview for a child-behavior expert by responding to a freelancer's ProfNet query. Judging by contributor profiles in the magazine, More's writers often are well-credentialed journalists and authors. Stanger says More's editors are open to information sent by PR people, but don't like being told what is "right for the magazine." "We don't need things packaged for us," she says. "Just the facts, ma'am, is what we're looking for." Among her pet PR peeves is receiving pitches targeting child safety, gift guides, and other topics More doesn't cover. Most pitchable are health stories and items for the diverse "Notebook" section, which includes mini-profiles and short pieces on books, art, movies, clothes, and makeup. Stanger also welcomes information for the travel and money pages. Deadlines generally run four months in advance of publication. Postal submissions are preferred for long-lead articles, although editors accept faxes and e-mails for more time-sensitive news. Phone calls can be disruptive, Stanger says. More's look has become gradually more daring, and a formal redesign is scheduled for February. New features will include "Viewpoint," a monthly essay on issues of concern to boomer women, and "New Directions," which will profile women reinventing themselves, like a New Orleans doctor who moved to Alaska and became a mountain climber, Stanger explains. Make no mistake - sex, beauty, and clothes sell on More's pages like any other slick women's magazine, albeit with a more mature bent. Front-page teasers in recent issues read "Holiday sparkle: Drop-dead dresses and high-impact jewelry," and "The Viagra wives: true tales from their bedrooms." The magazine even conducted its own over-40 model search. But arguably the biggest splash in More's short history came in September, when it ran photos of Jamie Lee Curtis in her underwear - thick tummy, jiggly thighs, and all - without makeup or airbrushing. The huge and overwhelmingly positive response gave the staff a confidence boost, Stanger recalls. "I think this magazine already had a real core of honesty to it," she says. "It was a reaffirmation of what we thought this magazine was going to be about." ------ Contact list More Address 125 Park Ave., NY, NY 10017 Phone (212) 455-1190 Web Editorial director Myrna Blyth Editor-in-chief Susan Crandell Managing editor Ila Stanger Articles editor Stephanie Woodard Books and entertainment Hilary Black Health Courtenay Smith Notebook and My Place sections Camille Chaterjee

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