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Magazine, MPT guide merging


One month after purchasing Maryland Magazine, Towson attorney Michael C. Hodes and a partner have entered into a licensing agreement with Maryland Public Television to merge the station's member viewer guide and the magazine.

Under the arrangement, the MPT staff will continue to produce MPT Magazine, which will be inserted in Maryland Magazine, beginning with the January 1996 publication.

At that time, the Maryland Magazine, which is published bimonthly, is scheduled to be changed to a monthly publication.

The agreement will result in an estimated $400,000-a-year savings to MPT in production and mailing costs, according to Mr. Hodes. In addition, it will result in profit sharing at a time when public broadcasting faces potential cuts in federal funding.

It also means that some 68,000 MPT patrons, who receive the viewer guide after contributing $35 or more a year, will begin receiving Maryland Magazine free.

For Mr. Hodes, who also owns radio stations in Baltimore and in Havre de Grace, the agreement offers a way to integrate three different types of mass media.

"It completes the circle," he said yesterday. "A lot of people didn't understand why I bought the magazine. But this integrates the radio and the magazine and MPT."

"Maryland Magazine picks up a strong statewide circulation," he said. "It will pump up the way the magazine is viewed in Maryland."

Mr. Hodes said his magazine will not derive any of its revenues from MPT. "MPT can make money if Maryland Magazine becomes very profitable but we don't make any money from them," he said.

The magazine, however, is expected to benefit financially by luring more advertisers as a result of the statewide presence the public station will give it. MPT broadcasts over six channels covering four states and the District of Columbia.

Maryland Magazine has a circulation of 30,000 subscribers who pay $12.95 a year, while more than 68,000 MPT contributors receive the viewers' guide free.

The magazine is a 27-year-old publication initially produced as a quarterly by the state of Maryland. Since 1992, it was published every other month by Magazine Works, a private group of magazine developers.

The publication, which profiles festivals, museums, restaurants and natural attractions, serves as a resource guide for residents and tourists.

In June, Mr. Hodes and Charles J. Nabit, who is president of several local health care businesses, announced they were buying the magazine for an undisclosed price.

Mr. Hodes said he also plans to begin a weekly Maryland Magazine show on his two radio stations, WWLG 1360 AM in Baltimore and WASA 1330 AM in Havre de Grace.

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