It was a decade ago that Carol Campbell joined Myrna Blyth, the founding editor of More, to sell what was then a magazine that went against the grain by aiming unabashedly at women over 40.
Now, with signs that marketers are increasingly embracing America’s aging population, the pair is teaming up again, this time to jointly sell custom, cross-platform ads aimed at female boomers. The companies are PGOA Media, which publishes the small-town newspaper supplements American Profile, Relish, and Spry, and where Campbell is now chief revenue officer; and ThirdAge.com, a lifestyle website aimed at boomer women where Blyth is editor-in-chief.
The effort will initially aim for pharmaceutical and packaged-goods companies, which PGOA considers low-hanging fruit.
“This is the demo that’s spending money on healthcare, living well, and people want to reach them in a very personal way,” Blyth said.
ThirdAge and PGOA each claim about 1 million monthly unique visitors online. PGOA’s American Profile reaches about 27 million readers weekly through its carrier papers. Relish, a food magazine, and Spry, a health publication, claim monthly audiences of 46.5 million and 27 million, respectively. PGOA and ThirdAge also expect to share editorial content in print and online.
The partnership unites not only two companies going after the same demo but also two longtime business associates and personal friends.
“Myrna recruited me from Condé Nast,” recalls Campbell, who served as More’s publisher from 2001 to 2004. “I took one look at Myrna and the whole More opportunity and said, how can I resist this? She was the face of More and I was so impressed with her knowledge. There was so much research and thought that went into the brand.”
“Carol was at More for three years, and what can I say?” chimed in Blyth, who joined Campbell on a conference call. Blyth was behind the More launch in 1998 by the Meredith Corp., as well as editor-in-chief of sibling pub Ladies’ Home Journal. “Carol is a fantastic seller and strategist.”
Campbell and Blyth kept in touch over the years. After Blyth jumped to Betty Confidential, a lifestyle site for women, she brought on Campbell as a consultant. They recently discovered their current common business interests.
“I knew what Myrna was doing at ThirdAge,” Campbell said. “That is the sweet spot of PGOA Media, with American Profile, Relish, and Spry.”
While More continues to thrive, other magazines that tried to capture the demographic shift have met with more limited success. If magazines are still chasing youth, as Blyth sees it, these days she’s placing her bets on the online world.
“This is the audience of magazines, women 40-plus,” she said. “Magazines don’t want to accept this, and it has become the booming, growing part of the Web. Television is beginning to recognize it. Magazines are still running screaming from the audience that loves them.”