GRAND Magazine Goes National - Debut Issue Hits a Home Run With New Generation of Grandparents

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Baby Boomer grandparents are the hippest, best-educated, healthiest and wealthiest generation of grandparents in American history --and a new magazine has targeted this booming market.

Yesterday’s grandparents rocked on the porch. But today’s grandparents really rock.

“That’s why GRAND magazine was born, and that’s why Billy Crystal is on our first cover,” said founder and President Christine Crosby. “He’s the kind of new grandparent our readers can relate to.

“Baby Boomer grandparents are embracing their new roles with the same passion and energy that spawned whole industries -- from jeans and running shoes to condos and timeshares,” she said. “This is the hippest, best-educated, healthiest and wealthiest generation of grandparents in American history.”

Crosby, actually a great-grandmother at 58, looks more like a tennis pro than a little old lady in tennis shoes. Blonde, radiant and the picture of health, she is, in fact, an entrepreneur who started and sold two highly successful businesses – one was a group of regional magazines -- while raising her own kids. Like most of her friends whose kids have kids, she couldn’t find a magazine that reflected her own fast-paced, high-energy lifestyle. So she decided to start one.

Together with their friends and business partners Judi and John Awsumb, Christine Crosby and her husband, Jonathan Micocci, refined the concept, drew up a business plan and assembled a group of investors. They enlisted Robert Strozier, former editor of Success magazine and World magazine and part of the Reader’s Digest launch team for New Choices magazine, to be editor-in-chief of GRAND. Judi Awsumb, with her extensive background in sales, marketing and advertising, heads up the advertising/marketing effort.

Christine, who serves as editorial director, created a key relationship with the National Committee of Grandparents for Children’s Rights, to help the magazine address major issues. In addition, GRAND would cover celebrity grandparents; solid grand-parenting advice; real estate, investments and finance; travel, recreation and outdoor living; health and fitness; shopping, food, fashion, and fun – all presented with wit, grace and humor.

GRAND magazine -- Celebrating Today’s Grandparents -- was launched in September 2004 in Florida, the Mecca for today’s active grandparents who love the outdoor life and are, on average nationally, 47 years old when their first grandchild arrives. The plan for the bi-monthly was to distribute 100,000 copies of the first issue in Florida and move to national distribution over the course of the first year. Now, however, it is clear that GRAND will be national by issue two.

“We knew we were on the right track, but we could never have predicted the reaction,” said Crosby. “Our phones started ringing off the hook. Reporters from local newspapers and magazines wanted to write stories about GRAND. People who read the first issue wanted subscriptions – and gift subscriptions. Companies wanted to advertise. Writers wanted to write for us. Organizations wanted to partner with us. Grandparents wanted to tell us their stories. Most of all, people wanted us to know that GRAND was exactly the magazine they had been waiting for. It’s been an incredible few weeks!”

The second issue of GRAND, featuring Washington media star (and grandparent) Cokie Roberts on the cover, comes out in November. In addition to Florida, this issue will be distributed in major bookstore chains coast-to-coast, including Barnes & Noble, Borders and Books A Million. Crosby and company also received calls from some of the nation’s leading mass merchandisers looking to offer the magazine for sale. Powerful health and insurance related membership organizations have called to set up subscriptions for their members.

“We seem to be on to something,” jokes Crosby. “Seriously, the timing is very right for GRAND. We’re writing for a generation of 60 million plus people – the famous elephant going through the population python. More than two-thirds of Americans over the age of 45 are grandparents.

“And this generation is grand-parenting with both style and substance,” she said. “When you realize that adults over 50 control 77% of America’s assets, and grandparents spend close to $30 billion a year on their grandchildren alone, you can see why we’re a force to be reckoned with!”

Visit GRAND magazine online at
For advertising/marketing inquiries call toll free: 1-866-327-9039. For editorial inquiries, contact Bobbi Schlesinger or Jolie Cross at 212-489-8585.

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Jolie Cross