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The First Word on Women of Wealth

March 01, 1999|JANET KINOSIAN

Lest anyone think women and money don't mix, Equity--a new magazine targeting women with bucks--will tell you otherwise.

Issued by Capital Publishing and bagged together as a "bonus" with Worth magazine, Equity is sleek, savvy and not a bit coy, fearlessly tackling a topic heretofore saved for male publications: How do the wealthy spend their money?

"We're hopefully going to be a mirror for women, a kind of mirror men have had for a long time," says Jane Berentson, editor of Equity and executive editor of Worth. "Not every woman will relate to this magazine, and that's OK. But we think the time is right to focus on affluent women who don't want to be patronized or marginalized. They're a full category by themselves."

Worth, which traditionally speaks in male business lingo, first published Equity in December. An issue will be sold in April at Borders Books & Music and Barnes & Noble, with another issue planned in the fall.

Industry analysts say the time is right for such a category-breaking magazine. With successful boomer women now running growing numbers of small- to mid-sized companies, the perennial glass ceiling is not the only topic on the minds of these affluent women.

Yet with the thousand-odd new publications launched last year, can this one find its own audience?

"It's all about finding a niche," explains Nancy Sheed, publications director for Capital Publishing. "We're hoping we've found that."

Plans are in the works to continue Equity after its 1999 trial run.

"Certainly it's a smart idea," says Steve Cohen, editor in chief of the Media Industry Newsletter, a 50-year-old news-watcher publication based in New York. "It's relatively easy to launch a magazine, but to make it have legs, to make it profitable, one plus one doesn't always add up to two. The jury's still out. But [Equity] is targeting a market with a lot of eyeballs."

If the articles in the first issue are any indication, those eyeballs will have a fun read. "Stocking Up on Avon" profiles not just Avon, the company, but lets readers see Andrea Jung, Avon's glamorous president.

A story on cover girl Katrina Garnett, president and chief executive of CrossWorlds Software, includes sidebars about her foundation, her family and new Silicon Valley mansion, as well as a page about her husband.

"Is all this pink and blue? Do men and women invest differently? Absolutely, 100% yes," says Equity's publisher, Missy Godfrey, who believes "stock-jock lingo" is not the only way to approach finance. "Do men and women disseminate information differently? Again, I'd say yes. Women assimilate information better through stories, rather than just dry numbers."

Berentson adds, "I think women [are less judgmental]. We're just interested. We're gatherers--we like the full picture."

Godfrey claims the response to Equity has been "far, far better than we could have foreseen. We've had thousands of e-mails, faxes and letters. We've definitely hit a very good nerve."

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