Carlo Vittorini, Longtime Publisher of Parade Magazine, Dies at 94

Carlo Vittorini, the publisher who led the nearly ubiquitous Sunday supplement Parade magazine to high revenue and circulation, died June 25 at his vacation home in Nantucket, Massachusetts. He is 94 years old.

His wife, Nancy (Coleman) Vittorini, said the cause was congestive heart failure.

Mr. Vittorini has spent 50 years in the magazine industry, almost all of it when the industry was still thriving. In 1992, when the circulation of the parade was booming, he confidently told his News Press/Gazette in St. Joseph, Missouri: Not even Time or Newsweek can reach as many people as we can. ”

In 1979, he was hired by SI Newhouse Jr., chairman of Advance Publications, as publisher, president and CEO of Parade.

When Vittorini took office, the parade’s advertising revenue was $140 million. He pushed that figure to nearly his $450 million in 1994. At the time, full-page advertising cost him $640,000, comparable to prices paid for television commercials.

“We’re like Ed Sullivan once upon a time,” he told Bloomberg Business News in 1995, a Sunday night TV variety show that entertained the public for 23 years until it retired in 2013. mentioned the moderator of the 1971. “But our ratings are more stable, and our weekly shows are more predictable.”

By 1998, Parade had been published in approximately 330 newspapers with a circulation of 37.5 million. It had a circulation of 21.5 million when Vittorini took office.

By then, the parade was offering the familiar wares out of the still-fat Sunday newspapers. Walter Scott’s Personality Parade, celebrity questions and answers page. An interview with a Hollywood star by former New York magazine editor James Brady. Column by Marilyn Vos Savant, touted by the magazine as having the highest IQ ever. There are also ads for “seen on TV” products like the Franklin Mint, Tobacco Company, and Cymaster.

Parade competed with another Sunday special, Family Weekly. The newspaper was renamed USA Weekend in 1985 after it was purchased by USA Today’s publisher, The Gannett Company. In the aftermath of the takeover, 123 papers switched to Parade and 13 others owned it. By Gannett, switched to USA Weekend.

In the San Diego market, the evening San Diego Tribune decided to stream USA Weekend, while the morning San Diego Union continued the parade. Vittorini recalled meeting with the paper’s owner, Helen Copley, and telling her she wanted her parade to be exclusive in all markets. He warned her that if she didn’t take her USA Weekend off the Tribune, he would stop distributing it on her Union.

“Somewhat arrogantly, she said to me, ‘Young man, how can you teach me how to run a newspaper!'” he wrote in his unpublished memoirs. “And as politely as I could, I replied, ‘Ma’am.’ Copley, if you won’t tell me how to run my magazine, I promise I won’t tell you how to run your newspaper. Success: USA Weekend has been discontinued. ”

Carlo Vittorini was born in Philadelphia on February 28, 1929 and was raised in Haverford, Pennsylvania. His father Domenico was an Italian immigrant and professor of Romance Languages ​​at the University of Pennsylvania. His mother, homemaker Helen (Whitney) Vittorini, met her future husband when she took his class.

Carlo graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1950 with a BA in English. He began his career in promotional work, becoming the Saturday Evening Post’s merchandising manager in 1956, and in 1958 Look He magazine’s sales representative. For a dozen years from 1965 he worked for Red Book magazine, where he was promoted to publisher. and he is the president.

In 1977, he was appointed president of The Charter Company’s magazine group, which includes Redbook, Ladies’ Home Journal and Sports Magazine. A year later, he was hired by Toronto-based Harlequin Enterprise, best known for publishing romance novels, to start a new magazine division.

After just one year at Harlequin, Mr. Vittorini was offered a job at Parade by Mr. Newhouse. Mr. Newhouse’s company also published magazines such as Vogue, Glamor and House & Garden. Vittorini said Newhouse handed him a three-ring binder containing notes he had written about Parade over the three years since Advance Publications acquired it.

“When I read what he said that night,” Vittorini said in his memoirs. ”

Vittorini said the rapid improvement in Parade’s understated performance was also due in part to getting more newspapers to distribute the magazine, which helped drive up advertising costs.

He told editors and publishers: 1999: “We had some very basic goals, which started with improving our product, both intellectually and physically. We did it, and we got advertising revenue along with it.”

In addition to his wife, Vittorini has a son, Stephen. his daughter, Lynn Vaughan; his stepdaughter, Ashley Frisby; his stepson, Frank Coleman; and five grandchildren. His marriage to Alice Hellerman ended in divorce.

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