Bauer Publishing, the owner of magazines including In Touch and Woman's World, plans to introduce Closer, a weekly celebrity magazine aimed at women in their mid-30s to late 40s, the company said.
The rollout, reported Friday in The New York Post, is a surprising move amid a years-long slump in newsstand sales. Magazines' single-copy sales in the second half of last year fell 8% from the second half a year earlier, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, with double-digit declines at In Touch, sibling Life & Style, Time Inc.'s People and Wenner Media's Us Weekly.
But Bauer, which has always emphasized newsstands over the subscription business that comprises the focus at most U.S. publishers, remains committed to newsstands.
"This really goes against the grain," said Marc Richards, VP-group publisher at Bauer's entertainment and teen divisions. "The biggest publishers are pulling back from newsstands. We're not."
Bauer's confidence in Closer is rooted in its belief that the magazine's intended readers -- the women of Generation X -- represent an untapped market. "They're a forgotten generation among marketers, because they're sandwiched between baby boomers and millennials," said Mr. Richards. "It gives us a unique opportunity in the market."
Mr. Richards, who will be publisher of Closer, said the magazine will feature celebrities that Gen Xers grew up watching and focus on positive stories instead of scandals. It will also include age-appropriate advice on fashion, beauty, health, fitness, diet, recipes and decorating.