TIME TO GET FOCUSED: Amidst all the turmoil at AOL Time Warner, the publishing arm of the company has more or less managed to remain out of the spotlight. But with media insiders buzzing about the upcoming profile of editorial director John Huey in GQ and the promotion of Ann Moore two weeks ago to chairman and chief executive officer of Time Inc., the focus seems to be shifting back to the publishing side for better or worse.

Trying to pre-empt a mass exodus, the company’s HR department sent an internal memo to employees informing them that the company was “sponsoring a number of focus groups to gather feedback about the work experience” of Time Inc. employees and the “various workplace issues affecting them.”

This story first appeared in the July 30, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“I guess this little initiative is meant to make people think they’re addressing all of this stuff that’s going on here,” said one high level editor. “The company did away with profit sharing a couple of years ago and replaced it with stock options that are worthless.” Luckily, the source said, many on the publishing side were smart enough to know that the Internet bubble was going to burst and “cashed out right as the merger happened.”

Huey, for his part, is said to be quietly seeking out journalists who might have less reason to scorch him than GQ does. The profile in GQ is thought by some to be payback for a scathing profile on Condé Nast ceo Steve Florio that Huey ran four years ago while he was the managing editor at Fortune.

ERASURE AT ROSIE: In addition to the highly publicized catfight between Rosie O’ Donnell and her magazine’s new editor, Susan Toepfer, the magazine also let go its creative director Doug Turshen last week. In his place, the magazine has brought on Holland Utley, a freelance art director who previously worked for Vogue and the now defunct Women’s Sports and Fitness. The appointment, however, is temporary. A spokeswoman for Rosie said Utley would “help the magazine through the next couple of closes.”

WEAR YOUR FAVORITE MAGAZINE: Andy Warhol would have been proud. In a parody of magazine brand extensions, sportswear maker Lynn Ritchie has changed the names of popular fashion reads like “Vogue,” “Bazaar,” and “Town & Country” to “Vague,” “Bizarre” and “Lost & Foundry” to create its “Cover Girl” T-shirt. The vivid, multicolored shirt takes its quirky inspiration from magazine covers from the Seventies (you can divine the decade from such cover lines as “Wife Styles: Liberated or Submissive”). The people at Lynn Ritchie declined to divulge which models are pictured, but a look at the shirt reveals such past cover icons as Cheryl Tiegs and Sophia Loren.

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