'Chicago Defender' Launches Two Mags

By: Mark Fitzgerald The Chicago Defender launched two monthly magazine supplements in its weekend edition Friday.

All That, which calls itself "the voice of Chicago's urban culture," is aimed at African Americans aged 18 to 34 with coverage that mixes hip-hop and entertainment with more serious journalism, such as one story headlined, "Are young blacks buying into Bush's Social Security hype?"

The Temple is devoted to health issues among African Americans. "It's a piece of our core mission to deal with the health disparities of African Americans," Defender Executive Editor Roland S. Martin said. He noted that it also allows upselling of ads in the tabloid's weekly health section.

Though both supplements launched in the same issue Friday, beginning next month The Temple will appear on the third Friday of the month, and All That on the fourth Friday.

Within six months, the black-oriented paper hopes to distribute 25,000 copies of the supplements as standalone publications in addition to the supplements inserted in its 25,000-copy press run.

The supplements are the first niche publications for the Defender -- which celebrates its 100th anniversary on May 5 -- and addresses a problem it shares with many other black papers: Its readership skews old. "It is a much older readership," Martin said. "Now we could spend thousands and thousands to cultivate young readers, but we think it makes more sense to create a separate publication to reach that target demographic. And at the same time, this give us a much larger circulation publication."

Both magazines have slick covers and an upgraded newsprint stock. Eventually they will become glossies and may be syndicated to its sibling weeklies or beyond. "For now we need to contain costs, and build the sales case for both," Martin said.

Separately, the Defender has entered into a partnership with the NBC's owned-and-operated Chicago TV station, WMAQ/Ch. 5. The television station is providing its branded "5 Weather Plus," which runs on page two. Twice a week, the Defender also publishes a feature based on the "Art Norman's Chicago" segments on the newscast. WMAQ will also produce half-hour special on the Defender's centennial.

Martin said the newspaper is close to announcing a partnership with a Chicago radio station.


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