NEW YORK -- Publisher Dale W. Lang said Friday he has agreed to buy Ms. and Sassy magazines in partnership with Citicorp Venture Capital and is forming a new company, Lang Communications Inc., to operate the publications.
The price paid to Matilda Publications, which owns the two magazines, was not disclosed. The transaction should be effective with the magazines' October issues, Lang said.
In 1987, Lang and Time Inc. formed the Working Woman/McCall's Group, which currently operates Working Woman and Working Mother magazines. Lang said he is pursuing a buyout of Time's 50 percent interest in the venture and plans to bring the two magazines into Lang Communications Inc.
Last week, Lang and Time sold McCall's magazine to the The New York Times Co. for an undisclosed price.
Lang also operates Success magazine, which is to become part of Lang Communications.
Ms., with a monthly circulation of 550,000, was founded in 1972 by Gloria Steinem and Patricia Carbine. In 1987, it was acquired by Australia's John Fairfax Ltd., and a year later, it was sold to Ms. Editor-in-Chief Anne Summers and others involved in the magazine's management.
Sassy, with a monthly circulation of 250,000, is targeted for teen-age women and was launched in March 1988.
A spokeswoman for Lang said Sassy will aggressively pursue the teen market, long-dominated by Seventeen magazine, which is published by Rupert Murdoch.
'We really see the Sassy reader growing up to be the Working Woman and Working Mother reader in the 1990s,' said Andrea Kaplan.
Working Woman, which Lang purchased in 1978 when the magazine was in bankruptcy, is a monthly magazine on business management with a circulation of 950,000. Working Mother has a circulation of 625,000.
Kaplan declined to comment on the possiblity of changes in the editorial direction and staffs of Ms. and Sassy.
Lang, 56, founded Media Networks Inc., which places regional advertisements in some national magazines and competes against local newspapers, in 1968. He sold the company to Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co. of St. Paul, Minn., in 1977.