'Inside Edge' Goes Monthly

Inside Edge, the magazine started last spring by two Harvard under-graduates and aimed at college-age males, has proven that sex, drinking and the fast lane do sell.

The magazine's publisher, Jonathan K. Hsu '94, said the premiere issue in April sold more copies than well-established magazines such as Rolling Stone, Details and Gentleman's Quarterly in many major U.S. cities, including Boston.

A report released yesterday by Time Warner Company, the distributor for Inside Edge, said the magazine's sales for its first issue in April far surpassed record sales for the company's other premiering magazines.

Magazine-stand sales were 40 percent above thenational average for a monthly publication, Hsusaid, with sales running at 50 percent of copiesprinted.

"Time Warner is ecstatic about the results,"Hsu said. "It's really gratifying after all thework we put in."

Because of the first issue's success, InsideEdge plans to publish monthly beginning inJanuary. The second issue officially hits standstoday in the United States, Canada, and 20 foreigncountries.

The new issue sports such headlines as, "Sex:10 Do's and Don'ts," "America's Best and WorstParty Schools" and "How to Succeed in SchoolWithout Really Trying."

Hsu said many feel the magazine reaches ademographic group, males between the ages of 18 to24, which sorely needs a publication targeting itsown interests.

"Our responses from readers has been positive,"Hsu said. "Many feel that its good to get themale-student perspective. The magazine has beenhailed by many trade publications."

But some have criticized the magazine becauseit reinforces negative attitudes toward women andsex.

"The articles and the cover [of the Aprilissue] advocate date rape and the objectificationof women," said former Lighthouse Editorial BoardCoordinator Shana L. Birnbaum '94. "It grosslyunderestimates men's intelligence."

Hsu said a reader survey from the first issueshowed that the typical reader is highly educated,has high levels of disposable income and comesfrom a family with a high income level. The medianage of polled readers was 22.

"Basically, your ideal consumer," Hsu said.

"I would be skeptical of the market they claimto sell to," Perspective President Jesse M. Furman'94 said. "I would venture to say their market isbetween 11 and 15. Most 18 to 24 year-olds havegrown out of the adolescent mindset that themagazine portrays."

Hsu said that the magazine's October issue ismore toned down than the first one.

"This issue is definitely more subtle," hesaid. "With the first one, we didn't have millionsof dollars to do marketing campaigns, so we had tobe more provocative and use shock marketing."

In the new issue, Inside Edge tells readers inits "10 Sex Commandments" to "try and remember whoyou're in bed with."

Florida State University won Inside Edge'ssearch for the best party school. "Definitelyworth the $10K-a-year price tag," claims InsideEdge.

Birnbaum said such statements about sex in themagazine are not surprising. "Their attitude ofsex is: Get it if you can and if you can't, you'renot cool," she said. "Partying is the only thingthat matters.