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Time Plans To Show Subscribers How Their Senators Voted

April 24, 1994

NEW YORK (AP) _ Time magazine subscribers will find a customized listing in this week’s issue that will report how senators from their own states voted in allowing the Navy’s top officer to retire as a full admiral.

The magazine has plans for future issues to include even more narrowly defined listings of how a subscriber’s representative in the U.S. House voted.

″It helps us cement our relationship with the reader,″ said Managing Editor James R. Gaines. ″We hope it makes them feel we are providing something of more direct benefit than we had been.″

Time has been using so-called ink-jet technology for years to include subscribers’ names in circulation pitches and advertisements.

But until this week, the only time it put the technology to use for an editorial purpose was when it incorporated each subscriber’s name into the cover art for a 1990 issue that featured a story on junk mail.

Executives of the magazine decided to use the system to provide customized reports on the Senate vote, which permitted Adm. Frank B. Kelso III to retire at his current rank despite criticism over sexual harassment of women at the 1991 Tailhook convention of military aviators. Kelso said he didn’t witness harassment at the convention but some held him partly responsible anyway.

Time has developed the technology to match subscribers to particular states and congressional districts based on their zip codes and will use it to print the names of the appropriate lawmakers in subscribers’ magazines.

Hala Makowska, the assistant consumer marketing director for Time who has been overseeing this project for a year, said plans are to use it in the future for newsworthy votes in the House.

She said the magazine also plans a ″Time on Capitol Hill″ section that will look ahead to upcoming votes and may include a post card that readers can use to let their legislators know how they should vote.

Gaines said no specific target date has been set to start that, and said it will depend in part on when newsworthy votes are scheduled.

Makowska said the customized voting reports will be included in the more than 3.9 million subscription copies of Time delivered each week.

Time, which has a larger circulation than its rivals Newsweek or U.S. News & World Report, sells another 200,000 copies on newstands each week.

″We think this is information that is really difficult to find, and we have a grassroots sense that people are looking for accountability. We think it is something people will value,″ she said.

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