(The following article first appeared in the 9/9/92 issue of the now-defunct Lower East Side alternative weekly newspaper, Downtown.)
Although Cosmopolitan poses on the magazine rack as a publication which competes with Good Housekeeping magazine for women readers, Good Housekeeping is also owned by the Hearst Corporation. And although Good Housekeeping sold 5.2 million copies each month mostly to women in the early 1990s, its then-editor was still a man named John Mack Carter. Carter had also been the editor of two other widely-circulated magazines for women readers in the past: McCall’s and the Ladies Home Journal. Carter had also served on the board of various corporate women’s organizations, historically.
For over 50 years prior to 1992, Good Housekeeping—like Cosmopolitan—had made a lot of money for the men who managed and owned Hearst, by being successfully marketed to women. As early as 1939, the market value of Hearst’s Good Housekeeping operation was estimated to be $5 million (in 1930s money); and in 1979, Hearst was charging $33,000 (in 1970s money) per page for ad space in Good Housekeeping. But during the 1940s the Federal Trade Commission [FTC] charged Good Housekeeping with profiting from misleading advertising that utilized Hearst’s “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.”
Next: Cosmopolitan’s Historic Harper’s Bazaar And Redbook Connections
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