Sunday History Photo / Au

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 07:24
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One for the Ladies this week......1933 Australian Women’s Weekly founded,

Women's Weekly first edition Originally conceived as a weekly newspaper for women, the Australian Women’s Weekly became the largest-selling magazine ever circulated in this country. Published by Frank Packer, it was initially printed as a black and white newspaper, and sold for 2d. In the early years it took a stand regarding the status of women in society, but by the mid-1930s was principally appealing to the traditional home-maker. The ‘Weekly’ became an important source of recipes and helped shape food trends in Australian homes.

In 1923, Frank Packer became a cadet journalist on his father's paper, The Daily Guardian. Four years later, he was a director of the company. In 1933, Packer started the Australian Women's Weekly. The first editor was George Warnecke and the initial dummy was laid out by WEP (William Edwin Pidgeon) who went on to do many famous covers over the next 25 years.
When the first issue of the Australian Women’s Weekly was printed as a tabloid and came off the presses in early June in 1933, it not only had an marked impact on reading habits but a it gave the lives of Australian women new perspectives.

George Warnecke, the Weekly’s co-creator and first editor, designed the magazine to have an Aussie outlook and appeal to every strata of society: from the outback to the well-heeled and industrial suburbs of the land. Warnecke later described this “simple charter” as the “magic formula.” That’s why the Weekly was an immediate success.
But believe it or not, he wasn’t the one who came up with the idea to produce a women’s newspaper. It was his wife, the Irish opera singer Nora Hill. Right from the start, Nora was convinced that Australian women needed a newspaper.
Nan Musgrove, who was a feature writer on the Weekly, wrote in 1954 that “after long discussions with Nora” he and Nora hunted the bookshops, spied on how women were dressed, before they finally settled on what they wanted.
From these humble forays in the marketplace of a struggling Australia, the “magic formula” for a women’s “newspaper” gradually took shape.

It was early winter on June 8, 1933, when an old Hoe press, set up in MacDonnell House in Pitt Street, Sydney, began printing the magazine-come-newspaper that would became an institution – the Australian Women’s Weekly.
The Depression had been grinding away for three years and there was little relief in sight for Australians. Like the rest of the world, our land was in crisis; unemployment had reached 30 per cent, our overseas markets had dried up; our prices for wool, coal and wheat hit rock bottom.
But the birth and charm of the Weekly radiated confidence for a Depression-wracked publishing industry.
“Success was a very important impetus to those of us who were in the business then,” wrote Frank S. Greenop, author of the seminal The History of Magazine Publishing in Australia in 1965. “The economic problems were in some cases greater that the resources of management could bear.
”The bookstalls were filled with American and English magazines selling cheaply. There seemed no chance that the Australian periodicals could compete against them. We lived through it … but there was a danger that we couldn’t see the wood for the trees.”

It was the opinion of Greenop that the Depression was as much psychological as it was economic. “I think the first breakthrough came when Frank Packer, later Sir Frank, launched the Weekly,” said Greenop.
The Australian Women's Weekly, sometimes known as simply The Weekly, is now an Australian monthly women's magazine published by Bauer Media Group in Sydney. Audited circulation in June 2013 was 459,175 copies monthly. Readership numbers for September 2014 are estimated to be 1,828,000. For many years it was the number one magazine in Australia but it is now outsold by 'Better Homes and Gardens.


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Reply By: Nomad Navara - Monday, Apr 06, 2015 at 19:37

Monday, Apr 06, 2015 at 19:37
Another great story Doug, please keep finding them.
AnswerID: 552077

Reply By: Nomad Navara - Monday, Apr 06, 2015 at 19:40

Monday, Apr 06, 2015 at 19:40
Another great story story Doug, please keep them coming.
AnswerID: 552078

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