CHANGES AFOOT: This weekend, magazine executives will descend on Boca Raton, Fla., for the American Magazine Conference, where they’ll subject themselves to Waverly Inn truffle fries and full-bore schmoozing. But there will be substance to the soirees: The conference is also expected to bring some changes to the National Magazine Awards, according to sources. One to be revealed there is that, for the first time, magazines put out by newspapers will be eligible for the highly prized awards. The New York Times magazine is expected to be a prime beneficiary of this (though perhaps Parade and USA Weekend would be indignant at the suggestion).
Earlier this year, after sweeping the awards with five wins, New York magazine editor in chief Adam Moss told WWD he intended to push for newspaper magazines’ eligibility, having edited The New York Times magazine for five years. He was elected to the board of ASME last year, and is now secretary.
Other changes that will be discussed when board members meet in Boca this weekend include possible consideration of online-only features in regular categories (currently, they are judged separately). Board members privately disputed speculation that the fiction category would be eliminated; instead, members are said to be discussing how to reenvision it.
— Irin Carmon
NUMBERS, PLEASE: Condé Nast Publications and Hearst Magazines finally agreed to sign up to the Audit Bureau of Circulations’ Rapid Report filing system, which reports circulation figures weeks after a magazine’s on-sale date. The system reports figures on individual issues much quicker than the old-fashioned biannual reporting schedule from the ABC, and gives advertisers a faster read on a magazine’s circulation performance. The news was reported by Advertising Age on Tuesday.
Condé Nast will put 24 of its titles, including Vanity Fair, Glamour and The New Yorker, on the reporting system by the end of the first quarter of next year, but the group will not include its newest launch, Portfolio. The business title is still not listed with ABC, but is expected to join in the latter part of next year. The magazine then will be added to Rapid Report.
Hearst Magazines also said it would commit its remaining titles to Rapid Report by January. The company already lists Good Housekeeping, Smart Money and Town & Country, but will sign up titles including Quick & Simple, Cosmopolitan, Redbook and Esquire.
The decision by the two large publishing houses follows Time Inc.’s announcement in September that it would enroll all of its titles in Rapid Report, as Hachette Filipacchi Media did this summer. Rodale and Alpha Media Group, home of Blender and Maxim, also have committed to the report. Of the larger publishers, Bauer Publishing, home to several newsstand-heavy weekly magazines including In Touch and Life & Style, and Wenner Media, publisher of Us Weekly and Rolling Stone, have not yet signed on. American Media Inc. also has most of its titles on Rapid Report, but discontinued reporting figures for Star in March.
— Stephanie D. Smith
MOVING ON: Former Dennis Publishing chief executive officer Stephen Colvin has landed at CNET Networks as executive vice president. Colvin will have responsibility for properties including GameSpot.com, TV.com, MP3.com, FilmSpot and UrbanBaby. Colvin left Dennis once the company was acquired by Quadrangle Partners in August. During his tenure, he put Dennis on the map in the U.S. with lad mag duo Maxim and Stuff, and later oversaw the launch of The Week, and Blender magazines here, as well as their respective Web sites and mobile platforms, radio and television programs and branded products (remember Maxim Hair Color for Men?). Colvin begins his new job Monday.
BIG BREAK: Considering the big money and buzz surrounding social networking sites (as evidenced by Microsoft’s $240 million investment in Facebook this week), it should come as no surprise that fashion designers are also joining the trend. Up next, C’N’C Costume National, which has set up a page on MySpace to find its next models for the house’s spring ad campaign. The online “Web casting” will conclude Wednesday, with the selection of a male and female model. “For C’N’C Costume National, my streetwear line, I am looking for ‘cool kids’ between 18 and 28 trying to promote their music or themselves through the Web,” said Ennio Capasa, designer and creative director. “MySpace is an important part of socializing and it has become a jump board for anyone willing to express themselves freely and to show their talent.” The models will be shot in Paris in early November by Stefan Ruiz, who has photographed previous campaigns for the brand. “Besides the print ads, the campaign will relaunch everything back on MySpace through our site and probably through the sites of the people that participated,” predicted Capasa.
— Amy Wicks
POLO DEPARTURE: Wendy Smith, senior vice president of communications at Polo Ralph Lauren Corp., is exiting the company at the end of next week to pursue other interests. Smith joined the company in September 2006 to oversee fashion public relations, business media and the press on Lauren’s philanthropic endeavors and employee communications.
She was previously head of corporate communications at Creative Artists Agency in Beverly Hills. Before that, she had been special assistant to former president Bill Clinton in Washington, and, prior to that, manager of marketing and promotional opportunities for The New Yorker. Smith joined Polo as Ralph Lauren prepared his 40th anniversary celebrations. During her yearlong tenure, Lauren opened two boutiques in Moscow, and feted his anniversary with a runway and gala in Central Park’s Conservatory Garden.
— Marc Karimzadeh
STYLISH FETE: The creative hands behind the camera took center stage Tuesday at Style.com’s party for its new book, “Stylist: The Interpreters of Fashion” at New York’s Skylight Studios. The book highlights the creative works of 16 of the most influential stylists in print, including Andrea Lieberman, Grace Coddington, Alex White, Melanie Ward, Brana Wolf, Paul Cavaco and Joe Zee. Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour, Allure editor in chief Linda Wells and Gwen Stefani, a client of Lieberman’s, mingled with designers Anna Sui, Derek Lam, Doo-Ri Chung, Francisco Costa, Zac Posen and Behnaz Sarafpour, who turned groupie and asked for autographs from the book’s subjects. Guests who did not have the energy to tote the $75 book around the spacious party — as Sarafpour did — could view chapters of the book on large screens equipped with the same hand-controlled scrolling screen capabilities as the iPhone. “It’s where fashion meets technology,” commented Jamie Pallot, CondéNet editorial director.
— S.D.S. and I.C.