In the wake of the death on April 5th of Charles Laufer, co-founder with brother Ira of Tiger Beat magazine, LA Times obit writer Keith Thursby shares a tuneful trip down memory lane.
After graduating from USC with a degree in journalism, Laufer got his publisher feet wet while teaching at several high schools. His first magazine, aimed at students, was Teen, followed in 1965 by Tiger Beat:
“We were in business for four months, funds were drying up,” Larry said. His brother and the magazine’s editor went to a screening of new television shows and Laufer remembered Davy Jones from the cast of Oliver! on Broadway.
“Chuck had a feeling,” Ira said. He put a picture of Jones on the corner of the magazine’s cover. “It was our fifth issue, it almost sold out on the newsstands, put us in the black and started our company.”
At its peak in 1978, Tiger Beat had a circulation of 700,000. After being owned by Sterling/McFadden and Primedia, the magazine was brought back into the family in 2003 by Laufer’s son Larry and publishes today alongside BOP.