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MAY ISSUE OF "HIGHLIGHTS FOR CHILDREN" IS 500TH FOR POPULAR MAGAZINE FOR KIDS

 COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- It was a tiny publishing event that happened quietly. No fanfare at all.
 In June 1946 a husband-and-wife team of psychologists and educators, both already retired, (he was 61 and she was 58), launched "Highlights for Children" magazine. They printed 20,000 copies of that first issue.
 Millions of copies of the 500th issue of "Highlights," dated May 1993, are arriving in the homes of subscribers all over the world. Still no trumpets, flag waving or special ceremonies. Just another great issue of a magazine that keeps on delivering, month after month after month.
 A 500th issue of "Highlights" marks a record achievement in children's publishing. In an age of corporate takeovers, megamergers and tremendous media hype in the world of books and magazines, "Highlights for Children" has quietly moved into first place among the publications for children, without advertising revenue and with neither gimmicky fluff or violence in its pages.
 With its 2.6 million subscribers and an estimated readership of 15 million youngsters, "Highlights" has today the largest circulation of any children's magazine in the country.


FAMILY-OWNED FIRM
 But the firm publishing "Highlights" is still a small, family-owned concern. Highlights for Children, Inc., with business offices in Columbus, Ohio, and editorial offices in Honesdale, Pa., was set up by the magazine's founders, also its first editors. The corporation is still privately held, largely by the descendants of the founders.
 Both the chief executive officer of the company, Garry C. Myers III, and the editor of "Highlights" itself, Kent L. Brown Jr., are grandsons of founders Garry Cleveland Myers and Caroline Clark Myers. (There is a company legend that they were their grandfather's prototypes for "Goofus and Gallant," one of the best-known of "Highlights" regular features.)
 The Highlights corporation now has a number of subsidiaries: Zaner- Bloser, Inc., an educational publishing company (Remember the A,B,C's up on the wall in your grade school? That was probably the Zanerian alphabet.); Boyds Mills Press, Inc., a publisher of books for children founded in 1990; "Teaching Pre K-8," a magazine for elementary teachers; and SDE, Inc., an educational services enterprise offering training for teachers.
 But despite such corporate expansion, the firm's flagship magazine has deliberately retained the values, ideas and general approach to content established by the firm's founders -- while undergoing repeated modernizing of its "look." Taking full advantage of the great advances in high-volume color printing over the last 47 years, the brilliantly illustrated full-color magazine of today is a far cry from that mostly black-and-white first issue.


"KIDS ARE KIDS"
 Says Brown, editor of Highlights: "We think kids are much the same today as they were when my grandparents started 'Highlights.' They are most interested in family and friends, school and play. Years ago most of the letters we got from kids were about troubles they were having with siblings or friends. Their letters today -- and we get 5,000 a month -- have pretty much the same emphasis. But it is also true kids today expect brilliantly colored graphics and good, exciting writing in their favorite magazines, and we're serious about providing those."
 The "Highlights" motto, "Fun with a Purpose," remains the magazine's watchword, and appears on the cover of the 500th issue as it did on the first one.
 "Highlights" has succeeded in an increasingly competitive marketplace by sticking to its conviction that kids, even quite young ones, are smarter and better able to learn and understand than most adults give them credit for. "Highlights" refuses to "talk down" to children, bombard them with advertising or mislead them with inferior material.
 And it has always pursued a creative marketing approach. In the 1950s, when "Highlights" was having difficulty staying afloat, the corporation innovated the concept of marketing the magazine through doctors' and dentists' offices. Indeed, many adults today remember "Highlights" from those ambiguous moments of their childhood spent finding the "Hidden Pictures" (always on page 14) as they waited for a dreaded tooth filling.
 Today, a state-of-the-art telemarketing and direct mail operation keeps in touch with subscribers from coast to coast.
 What might be termed a modern miracle -- the appearance of the 500th issue of "Highlights" in 1993 -- comes as an understatement. Just as it all began.
 To order a subscription, write to: Highlights for Children, P.O. Box 182027, Columbus, Ohio 43218-2027.
 -0- 5/3/93
 /CONTACT: Kent L. Brown Jr., editor (Honesdale, Pa.), 717-253-1080; Tom White, senior editor (Odessa, Texas), 915-367-4446; or Garry Brown, public information coordinator (Columbus, Ohio), 614-487-2606 (direct line), 614-487-2700 (fax), or 800-848-8922 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST); all of Highlights for Children/


CO: Highlights for Children Inc. ST: Ohio IN: PUB SU:

AR -- CLFNS6 -- 3538 05/03/93 07:33 EDT
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Date:May 3, 1993
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