A report in Washington Business yesterday incorrectly identified the publisher of Country Magazine. He is Walter Nicklin.

The Alexandria-based publication Country Magazine has been acquired by the Baltimore Sun's parent company, The A.S. Abell Publishing Co., the Sun reported yesterday.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Country Magazine, established by Walter Ricklin of Alexandria three years ago, features articles geared to "a rather sophisticated, rural, mid-Atlantic audience of middle and upper demographic groups," according to Ann Gallant, marketing and communications director for Abell Publishing, which was established earlier this year. Abell Publishing and Abell Communications, which operates radio and television stations, are subsidiaries of the A.S. Abell Co.

The Country Magazine purchase is the first major diversification move by the publishing arm of A.S. Abell Co.

The monthly publication, which sells for $1.50 per issue, currently circulates to 35,000 subscribers by mail and sells an additional 12,000 copies at newsstands, the Sun said.

"By far the largest portion of the subscriber list is in the metropolitan areas," Ricklin told the Sun. "The hope is that the editorial product appeals to city people who go to the country on weekends and have country homes, and to people who have already bought homes in the country or who have been there all their lives."

Ricklin added that the magazine's appeal to "down-home country people" is likely to be limited.

Both the magazine's circulation and advertising have shown rapid growth during the past year, he said. Circulation has increased 79 percent between Jan. 1981 and May 1982 and advertising has risen 144 percent between May 1981 and May of this year.

The magazine fills a niche in the mid-Atlantic market that publications including Yankee, Sunset, and Southern Living currently fill for New England, the West Coast, and the Southeast, respectively, Gallant said.

Nicklin, who will continue as publisher, said there "will be no big changes" in the magazine under its new owners, although typesetting and color separations for the magazine's color photographs will now be handled by the Sun's Baltimore publishing plant.