From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
ELCA Publishing House Proceeds with New Magazine for Women
News News <NEWS@ELCA.ORG>
09 May 2000 10:30:48
ELCA NEWS SERVICE
May 9, 2000
ELCA PUBLISHING HOUSE PROCEEDS WITH NEW MAGAZINE FOR WOMEN
COLUMBUS, Ohio (ELCA) -- Augsburg Fortress Publishers, the
publishing house of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA),
is authorized to spend as much as $500,000 in 2000 to launch its new
Christian women's magazine, "Sunday/Monday WOMAN."
The executive committee of the publisher's board of trustees
authorized the expenditure -- a budget allocation separate from the
company's regular budget -- in an April 14 meeting by conference call.
The full board was informed of the decision at its April 27-29 meeting
Sunday/Monday WOMAN is intended for an ecumenical market. Its
articles will focus on current topics of interest to women, devotions,
tips for living, book, video and music reviews, and motivational
Start-up costs for the magazine were not included in the regular
Augsburg Fortress budget for 2000 because original estimates were deemed
too high, said George W. Poehlman, Augsburg Fortress vice president for
finance and treasurer. Original estimates placed first year costs as
high as $1 million, he explained.
"Plans for Sunday/Monday WOMAN were revised and first-year costs
were cut in half by reducing the number of issues scheduled for 2000,"
The company's management believes it may be able to secure as much
as $400,000 in grants or subsidies for the new magazine, resulting in a
net cost of as little as $100,000 this year to Augsburg Fortress, he
said. The $500,000 in start-up costs are "simply the entry fee for
trying to get a new magazine started," said Poehlman.
"We have no guarantees we are going to get these grants," he said.
"We are going to work hard to come in with less than $500,000 in costs
with grants, but it was important for the executive committee to
understand there are no guarantees."
In 2000 the company plans to produce two issues of Sunday/Monday
WOMAN. About 27,000 copies each will be printed and distributed. Six
issues of Sunday/Monday WOMAN are planned for 2001, with circulation
projected at 77,000, Poehlman said. By its fifth year, the publisher
projects circulation at nearly 200,000, and it believes the publication
will have recouped its original start-up costs by then, he said.
Financial reasons are not the only reasons to publish the
magazine, Poehlman said. Initial marketing of the magazine has resulted
in a "tremendous" response, he said.
"This is clearly an example of a market-driven product," Poehlman
said. "This well fits the mission of the publishing house."
After the idea for the magazine was first discussed by the
Augsburg Fortress board last fall, Women of the ELCA, which produces
"Lutheran Woman Today" (LWT), expressed numerous concerns. LWT has a
circulation of about 180,000 and is also published by Augsburg Fortress.
The new publication has the potential to divert attention from research,
growth and development of LWT and impact customer service, said
Catherine I.H. Braasch, executive director, Women of the ELCA. The
women's organization had "repeatedly expressed" its concerns about the
new publication since 1998, she added.
Women of the ELCA and LWT want a strategic partnership with the
ELCA's publishing house, Braasch said.
Last fall, the executive board of Women of the ELCA asked
presidents of the 64 synodical women's organizations of the church,
including the executive director and president of Women of the ELCA, to
write letters of protest to Augsburg Fortress about the new magazine.
Augsburg Fortress received few letters expressing concerns about
the new publication, said the Rev. Marvin L. Roloff, president and chief
For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or NEWS@ELCA.ORG
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