Yankee Magazine Gets Makeover

Yankee Magazine, looking to expand its advertising base and boost its flat circulation, is contemporizing its look and editorial content. The goal: attract a younger, more affluent readership and the advertisers that covet that audience.

“Many younger people think of Yankee as their parents’ magazine, but now we’re making it more applicable to them,” said Carol Connare, editor-at-large and communications manager of the 67-year-old journal, produced by Yankee Publishing in Dublin, N.H.

Published 10 times a year, Yankee has a paid circulation of some 500,000, about half of which is in the six-state New England region. That number has remained flat for several years. To date, Yankee has had about 250 pages of paid ads in 2002, a 5 percent decrease over the same period last year, per CMR.

Yankee wants to maintain its image as a premier lifestyle magazine for New Englanders, but also looks to woo young adults and out-of-region readers—perhaps those who vacation in New England or have family or professional ties to the area.

Yankee has introduced a new slogan, “The magazine of New England living,” and added columns on home decorating, gardening and dining. It is also making a more concerted effort to target home, food and travel advertisers. Yankee continues to attract national advertisers such as Subaru, Bose and Benjamin Moore Paints, as well as regional tourism clients, particularly in southern New England.

Mascola Advertising, New Hav-en, Conn., has placed ads for two clients, the Connecticut River Valley & Shoreline Visitors Council and the state’s Mystic & More Convention & Visitors Bureau, this summer.

“Whenever a publication reinvents itself, we have to ask, is this [still] a fit for our target markets?” said Paul Kaza, president and creative director of Paul Kaza Associates in South Burlington, Vt., which frequently places Vermont tourism ads inYankee. “We think it’s a good fit, and it’s always been part of our mix.”

In addition to the changes in print and in its sales strategy, the magazine is trying to be more “hip” by underwriting programs on public radio and television in the region, Connare said. Event sponsorships are also an important part of the effort, she said. This summer Yankee has sponsored the Newport International Food and Wine Festival in Newport, R.I., and the New Hampshire Music Festival in Plymouth, N.H.