Carlo Vittorini, Publisher Who Lifted Parade Magazine, Dies at 94

He spent two decades guiding a popular newspaper Sunday supplement as its revenue and circulation grew, reaching nearly 40 million readers at one point.

Carlo Vittorini, Publisher Who Lifted Parade Magazine, Dies at 94

Carlo Vittorini died at his Nantucket summer home on the 25th of June. He was 94. He was 94.

Nancy Vittorini said that congestive cardiac failure was the cause.

Mr. Vittorini worked in the magazine industry for 50 years, almost all of them when it was still flourishing. He confidently said to The St. Joseph News-Press/Gazette of Missouri in 1992, as Parade's readership was surging, "Nobody can send a message as quickly as us." Even Time and Newsweek cannot reach as many people as we can.

He was hired in 1979 by

Newhouse Jr.

The chairman of Advance Publications is now the publisher, chief executive and president of Parade.

Parade's advertising revenue was $140 million at the time Mr. Vittorini assumed control. He pushed this number up to $450 million by 1994. A full-page advertisement then cost $640,000, which is about $1.3million today. This price is comparable to that of TV commercials.

He told Bloomberg Business News that in 1995 they were the equivalent to Ed Sullivan, the former host of the popular Sunday night television variety show, which lasted 23 years and was taken off the air by 1971. But our ratings are more consistent and our show is more predictable every week.

In 1998, Parade had been distributed in 330 newspapers and reached a circulation figure of 37,5 million. When Mr. Vittorini took over, the paper's circulation was 21.5 million.

Then, Parade offered a familiar Sunday paper product: Walter Scott’s Personality Parade. This was a page with questions and answers on celebrities. Walter Scott, the former New York Magazine editor, had created this page.

James Brady

Marilyn vos Savant's columns, who the magazine billed as having the highest I.Q. The Franklin Mint and tobacco companies, as well as ad campaigns for products such as the Thighmaster and "as seen on television" products are also featured.

After its 1985 acquisition by Gannett Company (publisher of USA Today), another Sunday supplement was launched to compete with Parade. This was Family Weekly. After the acquisition, 123 newspapers switched to Parade, and 13 other papers owned by Gannett switched to USA Weekend.

The San Diego Union continued to carry Parade, while The San Diego Tribune decided to distribute USA Weekend in the San Diego area. Helen Copley, owner of the paper, was told by Mr. Vittorini that he would prefer that Parade be the exclusive product in all markets. He told her he'd stop distribution in The Union of USA Weekend if she didn’t remove it from The Tribune.

She said, "Young man, you are so arrogant to tell me how I should run my newspaper!" In an unpublished memoir, he wrote. "And politely, as I could, I responded, "Mrs. Copley, I swear I won't give you any advice on how to run your paper if you do not tell me how to manage my magazine. Success: USA Weekend has been dropped.

In 1998, just two years before Vittorini's retirement, Parade had 330 papers, resulting in a distribution of 37,5 million. When Mr. Vittorini took over, the paper had a circulation of 21.5 million.


via Parade

Carlo Vittorini grew up with his future wife, Helen (Whitney) Vittorini. She met him when she attended one of his classes.

Carlo earned a Bachelor's Degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania, in 1950. In 1956, he became a merchandise manager at The Saturday Evening Post and in 1958 a sales representative for Look magazine. He worked for Redbook magazine from 1965 to 1970, rising through the ranks until he became publisher and president.

He was named president of the Charter Company's magazine division in 1977. This group included Redbook magazine, Ladies' Home Journal, and Sport magazine. He was then hired to launch a new magazine at Toronto-based Harlequin Enterprises. This company is known for its romance novels.

Mr. Newhouse offered Mr. Vittorini the job at Parade after a little over a year working at Harlequin. His company published Vogue Glamour House & Garden, and many other magazines. Mr. Vittorini remembered that Mr. Newhouse had given him a three ring binder containing notes he made over the past three years, since Advance Publications acquired Parade.

In his memoir, Mr. Vittorini wrote: 'That night, as I read the remarks of his colleague, it became clear that, although he had a wealth of experience in the traditional magazine industry, and he understood the problem, he missed the solution to this nontraditionally circulated magazine.

He claimed that Parade's results, while not spectacular, improved rapidly, in part because he distributed the magazine to more newspapers, which increased ad rates.

Editor & Publisher: He said

In 1999, we had some basic goals. We began by improving the product intellectually and physically. We saw a need for improving newspaper relationships, which we achieved. It brought with it ad revenues.

His wife Nancy Coleman, who was Nancy Coleman at the time of his marriage, is survived by Mr. Vittorini's son Stephen, his daughter Lynn Vaughan, his stepdaughter Ashley Frisbie, his stepson Frank Coleman, and five grandchildren. His marriage with Alice Hellerman ended up in divorce.


Retirement of Mr. Vittorini in 2000

The growth of the Internet and other factors led to a decline in magazine and newspaper circulation, and a loss of revenue. Many of these publications have shrunk or gone out of business.

Gannett closed USA Weekend last year, and in 2014.

The Arena Group is the new owner of Parade.

Endless possibilities

print publication

The magazine has been discontinued by the company, but it is still published as a newsletter.