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CBS Launching Watch! Magazine

CBS said Thursday it is teaming with publishing company McMurry to produce Watch!, a CBS-themed quarterly magazine, starting in January 2006.

The first issue, which will be about 60 pages, will include an interview with Two and a Half Men stars Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer; features on The Amazing Race, As the World Turns and Criminal Minds; and contributions from CBS News’ Lesley Stahl, Lee Cowan and John Roberts.

In addition to CBS show and stars, Watch! will cover sports, celebrity and new media news.

"We’ve put together a lot of parts of CBS," said Gil Schwartz, executive VP for CBS Communications, who will serve as the magazine's editor-in-chief. He added: "One of the things that this magazine can do, it can show people the true breadth of what CBS does."
The network expects the mag to debut with a circulation of 400,000.

Watch! will be entirely ad-supported and handed out at CBS show tapings and Paramount theme parks. CBS affiliates will distribute the magazine at local promotional events and station studio tours.

Said Schwartz: “We’re always trying to figure out new ways to reach people, particularly at key times of the year,” such as CBS' mid-season and summer premieres.

McMurry will handle editorial support, design, advertising sales, production and distribution. (The Phoenix-based company is a custom publisher that creates corporate magazines, including Amtrak's Arrive.)

Numerous networks already publish newsstand magazines with paid subscribers. Nickelodeon publishes Nickelodeon magazine. Cable sports network ESPN launched ESPN The Magazine in 1998. It is now the No. 2 sports magazine (behind Sports Illustrated) and has a paid circulation of about 1.8 million.

ESPN launched a Chinese version last year and a Spanish monthly (ESPN Deportes) will debut this fall.