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MTV lights fuse for mag

Publication to come with a CD, gaming samples

Could it be more retaliation against Fuse, the musicvid cabler that’s been giving MTV a run for its money in recent months? Perhaps. But whatever the reason, MTV is finally coming out with its own branded magazine after years of stop-and-go planning. Mag will hit newsstands Oct. 21.

Another single-themed issue will follow in December and, depending on the mag’s success, bimonthly publication will begin in 2004 with a rate base circulation of 300,000.

The self-titled magazine will feature MTV-related content, such as artist program “Spankin’ New” and “Rewind,” which looks back at the year in music, as well as stories on DVDs and videogames.

Bob Moses, a publishing consultant who has worked with MTV and E! Networks, will head the editorial team.

Fully loaded

MTV magazine will also come fully loaded with a mini mag, a CD and gaming samples — possibly to justify the $5.99 cover price.

Advertisers include Pepsi and Virgin Mobile.

After years of failed talks with publishers like Wenner Media and Hearst, Viacom-owned MTV will publish its print incarnation under MTV Networks’ Nickelodeon Magazine Group, which publishes Nickelodeon magazine.

MTV Magazine follows the successful television-to-print trend begun by Oprah Winfrey, ESPN and Lifetime. Despite the strength of the MTV brand, however, the mag is entering a historically difficult magazine category, given the fast-changing nature of musical tastes.