By: Greg Mitchell
On Sept. 8, USA Weekend will celebrate its 20th anniversary as a Sunday magazine. It wasn’t always in the form it is now. Gannett purchased the publication formerly known as Family Weekly? founded in 1953 ? from CBS and relaunched its own brand. The idea, says USA Weekend President and CEO Marcia Bullard, was to help newspapers attract newer, younger readers. In the mid-to-late 1980s, that meant baby boomers. As they have aged, the magazine has shifted its focus ? the new target demo is adults aged from 25 to 45.
Bullard claims the magazine is netting younger readers with stories focused on music ? the July 24 issue featured Coldplay on the cover ? and on health topics such as how to cope with the needs of aging parents. Circulation has grown. Twenty years ago, it appeared in 225 newspapers with a circ of 13 million. Now it’s in more than 600 papers, with a circ of 22 million.