Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 105



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 105

confessing that they were ignorant both of what women wanted, and, even if they knew, of where such material was to be had. Edward at once saw that here was an open field. It was a productive field, since, as woman was the purchasing power, it would benefit the newspaper enormously in its advertising if it could offer a feminine clientele.

There was a bright letter of New York gossip published in the New York Star, called “Bab’s Babble.” Edward had read it, and saw the possibility of syndicating this item as a woman’s letter from New York. He instinctively realized that women all over the country would read it. He sought out the author, made arrangements with her and with former Governor Dorscheimer, owner of the paper, and the letter was sent out to a group of papers. It was an instantaneous success, and a syndicate of ninety newspapers was quickly organized.

Edward followed this up by engaging Ella Wheeler Wilcox, then at the height of her career, to write a weekly letter on women’s topics. This he syndicated in conjunction with the other letter, and the editors invariably grouped the two letters. This, in turn, naturally led to the idea of supplying an entire page of matter of interest to women. The plan was proposed to a number of editors, who at once saw the possibilities in it and promised support. The young syndicator now laid under contribution all the famous women writers of the day; he chose the best of the men writers to write on women’s topics; and it was not long before the syndicate was supplying a page of women’s material. The newspapers played up the innovation, and thus was


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