New magazine focuses on regional happenings.
The Business Review
In early July, 20, 2003 of the area's wealthier households found copies of a new magazine in their mailboxes.
In the fall, a different 20,000 families will have that pleasure. Others will find Capital Region Living on newstands or in their local supermarkets.
Capital Region Living was created by Michael Gough, who also is president of The Business Source, a Delmar-based marketing and direct- mail firm. The July/August issue was the first for the bi-monthly publication, which contains feature stories, columns on a variety of subjects and seasonal event listings.
"It's really a well-rounded magazine that caters to the interests of everyone," said Mary Beth DeCecco, managing editor of Capital Region Living.
Each 8 1/2 by 11-inch, full-color issue of Capital Region Living will contain a few feature stories–the premier issue looked at 24-hour cable news network Capital News 9 and a Berne carpenter who specializes in Japanese-style woodwork.
The rest of the editorial content is broken up into six sections: Place Settings, about food and restaurants; Health & Fitness; Business & Finance; Sports & Recreation; Home Solutions; and Travel & Leisure. The articles are contributed by local experts, including Robert Agel of McDonald Financial Group in Albany and Michael Tangora of Tangora Technologies Inc., a Delmar-based smart-home technology company.
The largest part of the magazine–16 pages in the first issue–is the "what's going on" section. This is a categorized list of things to do and see in and around the Capital Region, including museums, fairs, festivals and concerts. The lists will be geared to the particular season. For example, the September/October issue is likely to include hayrides and apple festivals while the November/December issue will focus on holiday events and include an expanded food section.
The first issue of Capital Region Living had 64 pages, but Gough expects the September/October issue to run between 84 and 100 pages. That means he also expects more advertising, since page count typically is determined by ad layout.
The first issue attracted 66 advertisers, including restaurants, retailers, country clubs, car dealerships and homebuilders.
Capital Region Living is making its debut at a time when advertising expenditures are on the rise following a long period of cutbacks due to the tight economy. According to the Magazine Publishers Association of America, total magazine advertising revenue for the first four months of 2003 was 9.8 percent higher than in the same period of 2002. The New York City-based trade group said the categories with the biggest increases in spending were automotive, home furnishings/supplies and retail–all categories found in the first issue of Capital Region Living.
Gough lured advertisers in two ways. First, he offered low introductory prices.
"We did a lot of research to determine what rates the market could bear, and then halved that," he said.
Gough also promised advertisers that there would always be 30,000 copies of the magazine in circulation.
The ultimate goal is for full paid circulation; but until that is accomplished, 20,000 copies from each press run will be sent out by direct mail. This not only will help satisfy the pledge to advertisers, but will put the magazine into the hands of potential subscribers.
The recipients–different households each time–will be chosen by their ZIP codes.
"The people sent complimentary copies are in the higher-income neighborhoods of our region," Gough said.
The other 10,000 copies will be sent out to subscribers or placed on newsstands.
On July 28, Gough got the word that the magazine had found a home on more than 100 newsstands throughout the region. This includes all local Price Chopper supermarkets, all Rite Aid drugstores and most independents such as Coulsons in downtown Albany. It expects to add another 100 stores by mid-August, and by November could be in up to 500 locations.
A one-year subscription to Capital Region Living costs $11.97, or $1 an issue. The cost of a single issue on the newsstand is $2.95.
"We tried to make it a no-brainer," Gough said. "It's $11.97. You spend more than that to fill up your car with gas."
The first issue of Capital Region Living was produced by a staff of six and a few freelancers. Gough said he expects to hire more people soon, including another staff writer and someone to handle circulation.