Rupert Murdoch is launching another ladymag! And we're kind of excited. (As you may know, Rupert's first foray into this market happened last fall with the launch of Page Six Magazine, a weekly that, depending on your point of view, is either depressingly, apocalypse usher-innningly dumbed-down — or about as smart as anything devoted to shopping, restaurants and recreational drug trends of young Manhattan professionals deserves to be.) (My point of view on this changes pretty much every week.) But Rupert's latest venture has the potential to be more our speed: it's Pursuits — or maybe, a magazine not named Pursuits, a glossy to be located within every weekend issue of the Wall Street Journal. And the editor is Tina Gaudoin, a lady who has had a lot of jobs but blah blah I'm going to focus on this magazine she launched my freshman year of college when I was still naive and aspirational and cool-seeking. Frank was a sister publication to The Face, and it was supposed to be a women's magazine like none had ever existed.
"Free from horoscopes, letters and sensationalized sex stories," it promised to instead deliver "frocks, politics, lipstick, handbags, human rights, babies, gardening, stilettos, fridge magnets." Its target age range was 15-40. I bought every issue I could get my hands on at the campus international bookstore/clove cigarette purveyor. But...
No one else did. In one of those cases of tremendous pressure meets limited funding meets entrenched competition, Frank shut down after less than two years.
Pursuits will be a whole nother story. It's not a women's magazine but a magazine that must appeal to women in order to win over the Sunday advertisers the Journal craves. It won't rely on the "blink" psychology of newsstand sales. It doesn't have to appeal to 15-year-olds or run horoscopes. It doesn't have to be at all "cool." Maybe, with all those advantages, Tina Gaudoin will be able to put together a magazine that is, actually somewhat "frank"?
Funnily enough, a lot of people thought they'd hand the reins to another Frank, as in Robert Frank, the newspaper's chronicler of the uberwealthy and how they live and author of the book Richistan — wisely, they found someone who might be a little less openly contemptuous of the wealth of its most valuable readers. Personally, I could use a weekly magazine edited by Thomas Frank, but no one asked me.