Newspaper To Give ‘Ego To Women’

Biweekly Focusing on Women in Business Seeks Ad Support
BOSTON–Vicki Donlan is a woman on a mission. By October, the executive director of The Commonwealth Institute hopes to publish and mail the first issue of Women’s Business, a biweekly newspaper designed to give “ego to women.”
Initially mailed to a controlled circulation of 20,000 women, culled from mailing lists of women’s business organizations, Donlan plans to charge for subscriptions the second year. “We’re being aggressive,” she said.
Donlan promises ad rates will also be “aggressive.” Amy Dwyer Barao left a sales director job at Fidelity’s Community Newspaper Group to become ad manager for the magazine; Donlan expects to name an editor this week.
Donlan has worked off and on for more than 20 years for the New England Real Estate Journal in various positions, including publisher. She has been intrigued with the idea of starting a publication devoted to women in business for some time.
A year ago, she was recruited by Lois Silverman to become executive director of the Commonwealth Institute, a nonprofit organization that promotes women entrepreneurs. At the same time, Donlan’s own ambition to publish a newspaper was rekindled.
Silverman, who was the first woman ever to take a business public in Massachusetts, agreed to help finance the publication.
In addition to business profiles, potential story topics will include taking a company public, where to get funding, and how to assemble a board of directors. “You will see role models meant to be inspirational and aspirational,” Donlan said.
It will take more than profiles to attract readers such as Margie Meyers. The director of corporate communications at The Talbots in Hingham, Mass., reads six newspapers and “every business magazine.”
While admitting she has yet to see Women’s Business, Meyers questions whether this niche market can sustain reader interest. “It sounds like a lot of women’s publications that started in the 1970s [and failed] because it was just a lot of boosterism.”
Donlan says she will have no trouble attracting advertisers eager to reach what she calls a well-educated, influential market of Boston women.
Mary-Laura Greely, a partner at Boston law firm Mintz Levin, said though she has yet to meet with magazine representatives, she knows of “Vicki and Lois’ work with The Commonwealth Institute” and expects the publication to be a success.
“We’ll do whatever we can to support it,” Greely added.