Time rushes ahead

Weekly publishers early with Clinton coverage

NEW YORK — The Monica mess has prompted Time to get ahead of itself.

In a rare move for the newsweekly and as a result of what it calls President Clinton’s “historic” Monday testimony and public address regarding his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, the next issue of Time will hit newsstands starting Thursday morning, rather than its traditional Monday issue date. At that time, the current issue of Time will be pulled and this edition will be on stands until Aug. 31.

“Our goal is to be both timely and to have the opportunity to put events into thoughtful perspective,” said Time managing editor Walter Isaacson. “Sometimes we feel that these interests can best be served by adjusting our schedule, and Monday’s important events made this clearly one of those times. Our aim was not to be part of some rush to judgment. People are going to have to make their own judgments. Instead, we wanted to put forth the facts as we know them and provide some reporting on how the Clintons and others made their momentous decisions.”

It’s happened before

Time’s adjusted schedule is not unprecedented. Early issues have been published Thursdays after national elections and schedules have been changed for superpower summits and presidential debates.

Roberta Garfinkle, senior VP, director of print media for McCann-Erickson, New York, noted that some of the most common and popular rush releases tended to be “those death issues” such as followed Princess Diana.

As of Tuesday night Garfinkle had not been solicited to purchase ads for this special Time edition, but said, “I imagine that there will be a lot of clients who might not want to be in this kind of issue since they’d been sensitive to the subject matter. But then again, others who will say this makes for a terrific newsstand edition.”

Time’s main competitor Newsweek will not have an accelerated edition. “We considered it, but decided to cover the story in our regular news cycle since it’s an ongoing story,” said spokesman Roy Brunett.

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