By  on January 25, 2002

NEW YORK -- The now-defunct Talk magazine is fueling talk in more ways than one. The question now is: What other titles are going to face a big squeeze this year?

Media executives point to the fact that publishers are struggling with one of the worst economic climates in years. Magazines that are underfinanced, going it alone without group support, don't have an endemic ad base or haven't found their voice are going to have problems -- and big ones.

Of course, Talk is simply the latest -- and most costly -- of a string of collapses, which include such established titles as Mademoiselle, as well as Home Style, Expedia Travel, Mode and Manhattan File. WWD asked advertising executives what other titles they believe are vulnerable -- will it be fringe or independent ones, another home magazine, a fashion title, a city magazine, or a fallout from the overpopulated teen market? Among some of the properties considered to be in a state of flux:

Primedia Inc.'s New York and Seventeen, which are said to be in play even though debt-ridden Primedia vehemently denies it. New York magazine has decided to cut back its frequency to 46 issues from 50 a year as a cost-saving measure. Rumors are circulating that people have interviewed for Caroline Miller's editor in chief post. Earlier this month, Conde Nast Publications beat out Martha Stewart Omnimedia and acquired Modern Bride from Primedia. The deal gave Conde Nast a lock on the bridal market, but it hasn't elucidated its plans for the title yet.

Last fall, the U.S. edition of Jalouse went on hiatus after six issues. Jean Claude d'Huon, general manager of the U.S. edition of Jalouse, said Wednesday it's expected to come back, "but not in the next few months."

Style 24/7, an American Media Inc.-Fashion Wire Daily joint venture, fell off the map after four amateurish test issues. Despite a flaming New York Post article announcing the title had vanished, Steve Aaron, publisher of Style 24/7, said the publication will return sometime in the second quarter. The title is backed by Ron Perelman, chairman of Revlon, which has its own headaches to deal with.

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