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'Cosmo' Claims Circulation Crown In Armenia

Editor Hrachuhi Utmazian holds the debut issue of "Cosmopolitan Armenia" magazine at a press conference.
Editor Hrachuhi Utmazian holds the debut issue of "Cosmopolitan Armenia" magazine at a press conference.
YEREVAN -- The glossy international women's magazine "Cosmopolitan" has become Armenia's best-selling magazine less than seven months after the launch of its local-language edition, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

The February kickoff made "Cosmopolitan Armenia" the 63rd international edition of the famous U.S. title published by Hearst Magazines.

"We are confident that 'Cosmo' will do well with Armenian women," Duncan Edwards, Hearst Magazines chairman, said ahead of the Armenian edition's release.

"Cosmopolitan Armenia" claims to sell about 5,000 copies per issue, more than any other Armenian magazine. That circulation figure is also higher than the print runs of most of the country's daily newspapers, which cover primarily political and economic developments.

"Cosmopolitan" is currently printed in 36 languages and distributed in more than 100 countries.

Like its sister publications, the 160-200 page Armenian monthly edition carries articles on relationships, sex, health, careers, Western and local celebrities, as well as fashion and beauty.

"Sex was a very scary topic for us because starting to speak about it in Armenia as openly as 'Cosmo' does elsewhere in the world was not an easy thing," Hrachuhi Utmazian, the magazine's editor in chief, told RFE/RL.

But she said the magazine has extensively covered what is a sensitive and sometimes taboo subject in the socially conservative country in its six editions published thus far.

"Sex is a must-have headline at 'Cosmopolitan Armenia,'" Utmazian said. "It must be in the upper left corner of the magazine cover, it is considered the most important headline. The front page must also have a headline on beauty."

The debut issue of "Cosmopolitan Armenia" featured Armenian-American socialite Kim Kardashian on its cover.

"I would not go so far as to claim that 'Cosmo' is changing society," said Shushan Harutiunian, editor of the magazine's online version. "But the fact there is some change is obvious, at least among people who have joined our virtual community."

Harutiunian said the magazine's readers are mostly women aged between 18 and 35.