MountainTimeis the second spin-off of ForbesLife, itself a lifestyle spin-off of Forbes.ForbesLife Executive Woman, a 125,000-circ quarterly, launched last fall. Welsh tellsFOLIO: that he had been incubating the MountainTime idea for a couple years andwas on the verge of launching before falling out with his original investorslast winter. During a lunch encounter with Forbes magazine group president andlong-time friend Jim Berrien, Welsh quickly found his new backer. Berrien toldhim “Forbes wants to do this,” Welsh says, and after a board meeting a deal wasstruck. “It was that fast,” says Welsh. “They acquired the whole deal, and me,and I will be remaining as publisher for a minimum of three years.” ‘Ganging Up’ in the MountainsForbesLifeMountainTime features a hybrid model of sorts, incorporating regional contentsupported primarily by national advertising. Never much interested in sellinglocal advertising, Welsh’s key to the national marketers was by ganging up adistribution system through local papers in the affluent ski towns, eachranging in circ from 5,000 to 10,000. “The localnewspapers, because of their circulation size, could not get nationaladvertising like Mercedes or Grey Goose Vodka,” says Welsh. “Even though theyhave the perfect demographics, it’s too small of a buy for 5,000 circulation.They want 150,000 and up. And I thought if I put every cool ski town in theWest together in a network and had this magazine inserted every two weeks inthe local newspapers, I could sell national ads.”Welsh has 18papers signed on as partners and he says six national advertisers have bought afull run of 20 issues.There is asmall amount of hyper-local coverage, as well as advertising. The magazine doesa split run, allowing it to inject a spread of editorial that’s locallytargeted to a specific town, as well as a two-page spread of local advertising,which the newspapers get to sell and keep the revenue. “We have nopostage, no subscriptions. This magazine would cost $25-$30 million to startif I hadn’t come up with this idea of inserting it into the local newspapers,”says Welsh, who declined to say what Forbes paid for MountainTime.According toWelsh, the magazine avoids directly competing with existing regional magazines—whichgenerally have much lower frequencies than MountainTime’s 20x schedule—by focusing on national advertisers.”We won’t touch real estate advertising, restaurants and the art galleries andstuff. It’s all upside for everybody.” And Welshshould know about the vagaries of advertising. His last venture, Budget Living,an offshoot of Budget Travel, which was sold to Newsweek in 1999, folded in2006 despite four years of circulation growth, ending its run at 500,000. “I thought we did everything right, but we werefighting against Goliaths with big circulations and big budgets. And theagencies, over and over, take the safe route, keeping their spending with thebig three publishers instead of spreading it around,” Welsh told the NewYork Times in April 2006. Don Welsh isreturning to the magazine game.The30-year-industry veteran and founder of the defunct Budget Living has partnered with Forbes for the launch of ForbesLifeMountainTime, a lifestyle publication targeting high-earning readers in theRocky Mountain region. The magazinewill be published 20 times a year and distributed through local newspapers inaffluent ski areas, including Vail, Aspen and Telluride. Circulation will be150,000.