NEW YORK — The semi-annual release of the Audit Bureau of Circulation figures is a bit like an editor’s equivalent of a report card. It’s the means by which their bosses — media magnates like Cathleen Black and S.I. Newhouse Jr. —decide whether their editors are goingoff to Harvard (i.e. getting a raise), or whether they’re being shuffled off to community college (read: getting canned).

This season’s clear loser is the teen magazine category. YM, Seventeen and Teen People all suffered precipitious declines on newsstand this year, thanks in no small part to the diminished interest in young pop stars like Britney Spears and ’NSync. But Cosmogirl managed to buck that trend (up 16.6 percent on newsstand and 46.6 percent in subscriptions), doing little to quell speculation that editor Atoosa Rubenstein may be at the top of the short list to replace Seventeen’s Annemarie Iverson if she should get the boot when Elizabeth Crow arrives at the Primedia offices as the company’s new editorial director next week. (Sources, however, say Rubenstein may wish to remain in her current job.)

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