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Times Mirror Buys Weekly in Washington : National Journal Writes on Government, Politics

May 28, 1986|JUBE SHIVER Jr. | Times Staff Writer

Times Mirror Co. said Tuesday that it has acquired the Washington-based government and political affairs weekly National Journal for an undisclosed sum.

Anthony Stout, one of the journal's original founders and its owner since 1975, sold Times Mirror his 80% interest in the publication. Times Mirror purchased the remaining 20% stake from Washington Post Co.

Times Mirror is a diversified media company that publishes a number of newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times.

The National Journal, which has a circulation of 5,000, is regarded as an influential publication on national politics and government. That reputation made it an attractive acquisition, Times Mirror Chairman Robert F. Erburu said in a statement.

Loyal Following in Washington

Although the National Journal costs $546 for an annual subscription and enjoys a loyal following among congressmen, White House aides and federal bureaucrats, it has lost money during most of its existence.

It wasn't until the National Journal began accepting advertising in 1983 that it began to turn a profit, said John Fox Sullivan, president and publisher of the National Journal.

To make the publication more attractive to advertisers, Sullivan said the National Journal will soon launch a marketing push.

Sullivan added that the Journal, which also publishes the Almanac of American Politics and two other publications, hopes to expand its editorial presence by developing new publications to cover other aspects of politics.

The proposals under consideration, he said, won't involve any immediate change for the Journal's 40-person work force or its 25-member editorial staff.

"We don't have anything specific in mind," Sullivan said, "but we do very much want to continue to expand in politics and government. We feel there's a substantial audience for that sort of thing."

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