NEW AT PORTFOLIO: The upper reaches of 4 Times Square aren’t the only areas to welcome new staffers. Joanne Lipman has reached into the newspaper world once again as Cond? Nast Portfolio has tapped Dan Colarusso to edit its Web site. Before abruptly quitting in December, Colarusso was The New York Post’s city editor. Prior to that he served as the Post’s business editor. He can also boast some Web experience, having worked at TheStreet.com until joining the Post in 2002.
Colarusso will be subject to a somewhat unusual reporting structure, at least within Cond? Nast. He answers both to editor in chief Lipman and group president and publishing publisher David Carey. “Joanne’s in charge of the quote-unquote journalism, I’m in charge of getting broad distribution for the content,” Carey told WWD. And to those who wonder about possible conflicts of interest, Carey said, “If there’s a piece or a blog post that may affect an important client, I don’t get a vote on it.”
Ari Brandt will remain general manager of the site, overseeing its business. Carey compared the structure to that of Wired, which was placed under his purview last week, and which has a Web site editor who works both with Wired editor in chief Chris Anderson and CondeNet president Sarah Chubb.
The New York Observer reported in December, and sources at Portfolio confirmed, that Colarusso had been interviewing for the position of Portfolio.com editor in early 2007, just before he was promoted to the Post’s city editor.
Carey said Portfolio.com drew 1.7 million unique visitors in November, and 2 million in December.
— Irin Carmon
SAUERBERG MOVES UP AT CONDE NAST: These days, Cond? Nast’s staff announcements are eating up a lot of space in inboxes across
— Stephanie D. Smith
This story first appeared in the January 15, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
BERGER NAMED PUBLISHER OF MEN’S VOGUE: Marc Berger, associate publisher of Details, has been named publisher of Men’s Vogue. His appointment is effective immediately.
Before joining Details, Berger was the associate publisher of Cargo, where he helped launch the Cond? Nast men’s shopping title. From 2003 to 2005, Berger was the advertisingdirector of Vanity Fair.
As reported in Monday’s Memo Pad, Berger was named as a candidate to replace William Li as publisher of Men’s Vogue. Li on Monday was named the new publisher of Cond? Nast Portfolio.
(For further coverage, see Wednesday’s issue of WWD.)
MORE CHANGES: David Carey and Tom Florio shook up the ranks again just a week after their big promotions at Cond? Nast, parent of WWD. At Vogue, Florio promoted Connie Anne Phillips to a new position of managing director. Phillips, who was Vogue’s associate publisher, will oversee the day-to-day sales, marketing and creative services departments at the magazine and will also continue in her role as publisher of Vogue Living. She will report to Florio, who will have his hands full overseeing Vogue, Men’s Vogue, Teen Vogue and Vogue Living in his new role as senior vice president and publishing director. Replacing Phillips as associate publisher will be Laura McEwen, who joined the magazine in September 2006 as advertising director for its beauty business. She was publisher of YM and publishing director of Reader’s Digest prior to joining Vogue.
Also on Monday, group president and publishing director Carey tapped Men’s Vogue publisher William Li to become publisher of Portfolio. Li is a close colleague of Carey’s, having worked with him at House & Garden when it was relaunched in 1996 and at The New Yorker when Carey was that title’s president and publisher. Carey was given oversight of Wired Media and The Golf Digest titles last week during the reorganization, in addition to Portfolio, and will handle larger initiatives across the group of magazines.
A replacement for Li at Men’s Vogue has not yet been named, but sources close to 4 Times Square mentioned Details associate publisher Marc Berger as a possible candidate. New publishers at Teen Vogue and wired.com have also yet to be tapped.
As for who could succeed former Teen Vogue publisher Gina Sanders, who was named vice president/publisher of Lucky last week, Teen Vogue associate publisher Alison Adler Matz has been tipped as a candidate.
SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION: More magazine’s newly named editor, Lesley Jane Seymour, shares with her readers considerable life experience — in her case, editorship of YM, Redbook and Marie Claire. In a musical chairs sequence only slightly more twisted than your average media cluster, Seymour’s predecessor, Peggy Northrop, who left to answer the siren call of private equity at Reader’s Digest, was her executive editor at Redbook. When Northrop was editor of More, her own executive editor, Joanna Coles, left to abruptly replace Seymour at Marie Claire. “Peggy actually said to me when she was leaving, ‘You should take this job, and I’ll be so jealous because I love the readers.’ I promised to take good care of them for her,” said Seymour.
As for Northrop’s view of the musical chairs: “As somebody said, ‘It’s a long life on a small island,'” she said, pointing out the two women both started out at Vogue and Glamour, the latter under Ruth Whitney. Northrop said she and Seymour talked about making More like Whitney’s Glamour, but for women in their 40s and 50s.
Seymour takes over a magazine that, going into its 10th year, has seen better news than many other women’s titles: a 25 percent increase on newsstands in the first half of 2007, ad pages up 20 percent last year, a rate base increase next month to 1.2 million and three years in a row on Advertising Age’s A-list.
Seymour described More as having “a wise, smart, insider voice that resonated with women, and that’s why I started reading it and writing for it.”
While her challenge will be to keep that momentum going, the magazine is expected to remain relatively niche — its newsstand sales still average under 200,000. “I’m looking forward to not having to compromise so much,” Seymour admitted. “If you’re selling half a million on the newsstand, you have to do things that sell. You may not like them, but you have to do them.”
SOMETHING UP ITS SLEEVE?: Time Warner Inc. has entered into a $2 billion unsecured credit arrangement to pay off short-term debt and also, potentially, to use for future acquisitions. The company has approximately $37 billion in long-term debt, as of Sept. 30. Deutsche Bank AG and Bank of America Corp. assisted with the financing, for a term of three years. There has been plenty of speculation as to the direction of the company under new chief executive officer and president Jeff Bewkes, with some even predicting a divestiture of Time Inc., Time Warner Cable or AOL. Some of the questions could be answered on Feb. 6., the date of the company’s fourth-quarter and full-year earnings conference call.
— Amy Wicks
A NEW LAD: Dan Peres on Monday joined the ranks of fatherhood alongside Details’ Power and Influence honorees Kevin Federline and Larry Birkhead — and just received a whole new source of subjects for editor’s letters. The Details editor in chief’s wife, Sarah Wynter, gave birth to a baby boy, Oscar Dallas Wynter Peres, at 9:23 a.m. The baby, their first child, weighed 6 lbs., 6 oz.
ON THE BEACH: Given the strength of the euro against the dollar, perhaps it’s no surprise Baby Phat used the beaches of Malibu, Calif., to represent Saint-Tropez in its spring ad campaign. Photographer Camilla Akrans, who shot Missoni and Eres for fall, captured Kimora Lee Simmons in form-fitting denim and all-white outfits for the ads, which was inspired by the French resort. For the second season, ads for KLS Collection also were shot; however, Simmons decided to use a model instead of posing herself, to maintain the idea that Baby Phat and KLS Collection are two separate brands. Collectively for spring, the ad buy increased by about 20 percent. The images for Baby Phat will break in the March issues of Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar and Nylon, among others, while KLS Collection will make its debut in W, followed by Elle, Visionaire and Harper’s Bazaar throughout the spring and summer season.
CORRECTION: An article in Thursday’s Memo Pad should have read that Art & Antiques magazines is owned by CurtCo Media, not Brant Publications. Art & Antiques was acquired by CurtCo Media in 2006.