Magazines: Too Few Believers

The 85-year-old Ladies' Home Journal long considered itself "the magazine women believe in." It carefully mixed the traditional recipe-and-fashion fare with a more sophisticated content (John Gunther on politics, Margaret Mead on sex). Nonetheless, in its perennial duel with McC all's (circ. 8,500,000) for leadership of the women's field, the Journal (circ. 6,800,000) has been losing believers. Last week, as part of its radical retrenchment policies, the venerable Curtis Publishing Co. sold off the Journal, along with the household-decorating monthly American Home. The buyer: Downe Communications Inc., a consortium of mailorder firms, cosmetic and pet-food companies, and the newspaper supplement...

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