NEW YORK — Ending months of speculation about who would take the helm of Meredith Corp.’s flagship title, Ladies’ Home Journal, the company tapped Diane Salvatore as the magazine’s new editor in chief on Wednesday. This confirms a report in WWD July 10."What I want to do," said Salvatore, 41, "is bolster and revitalize the magazine’s core values, which are home and family and make sure it works with old and new readers." Salvatore was poached from Hearst, where she was director of editorial operations for the company’s 15 titles. Her successor at Hearst hasn’t been named yet.She succeeds Myrna Blyth, who was editor in chief of LHJ until March, when she ceded her title to become LHJ’s editorial director. Blyth, currently the editorial director of More magazine and of new product development at Meredith, will no longer serve as LHJ’s editorial director.Prior to Hearst, Salvatore was editor in chief of YM from 1998 to 2000, when she was abruptly replaced by Annemarie Iverson, who then went on to become editor in chief of Seventeen.When asked whether her appointment reflected a decision to make the magazine more youthful, Salvatore said,"There are landscapes and territories that are interesting to women whether they are 15 or 50. One thing they do have in common is that women are lookers today before they are readers, and it is crucial to have a magazine that is visually compelling."Salvatore faces an uphill battle at LHJ, whose rate base is 4.1 million. For the last six months of 2001, newsstand sales plummeted 12.4 percent to 367,667 from the prior year, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. In contrast, its biggest competitor, Good Housekeeping, with a rate base of 4.5 million, held steady in the second half of 2001, with flat newsstand sales of 1 million.

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