tampabay.com

Magazine tilts to the affluent

The new venture joins sister publication South Tampa featuring advertorials.

By MARY JANE PARK
Published September 25, 2006


The slick little magazine with a dramatic view of the Sunshine Skyway bridge is the newest player in the highly competitive Tampa Bay area publishing arena.

It is titled 727, after the telephone area code most common to Pinellas County, its target market.

For the most part, it is mailed to affluent homes, apartments and businesses, said Chris Nesci, its vice president and associate publisher.

The inaugural issue features histories of bay area bridges, including the Sunshine Skyway, the Howard Frankland, the Gandy, the Memorial Causeway and the Courtney Campbell Parkway.

It also has a profile of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Chris Simms. The magazine's managing editor, Keith Niebuhr, wrote it before Simms' struggles against Baltimore and Atlanta.

Pages and pages of advertorial copy also are written and photographed by (727) staff, Nesci said.

"What we try to do for our advertisers is, we tell a story about our advertisers," he said. "People like to get to know the person they might be doing business with. It just kind of breaks a wall down."

The publication takes the same approach in its editorial content, he said, focusing on community history and personal profiles.

The magazine, which claims a circulation of 70,000, publishes every other month. Nesci said the November/December issue will feature stories about Fort De Soto Park, Tony Jannus and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker.

(727) is an expansion of South Tampa magazine, which has been distributed to high-income homes and businesses in South Tampa and elsewhere in Hillsborough County. Plans are to launch a similar publication, titled (813), targeted at affluent homes and businesses in New Tampa and Wesley Chapel.

Nesci, also vice president and director of operations for the Hillsborough magazine, said he was happy about the Pinellas launch.

"I live in Safety Harbor, and it was always a dream of mine to get it over here. Living here, I think the county is re-facing itself. A lot of the old plazas are redoing themselves. I think the magazine fits with that."

Greg Jasso is president and publisher of (727) and South Tampa; they are designed through Fourthdoor Creative Group in South Tampa.

Issues are distributed by direct mail to selected addresses. Persons who wish to subscribe may do so by sending e-mail to info@727magazine.com.