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EMAPPING OUT A PLAN: Private equity firm Apax has been eyeballing some of Emap’s hottest property as the British media giant launches a “strategic review” of its businesses, which include Grazia, FHM and fashion Web site WGSN. Although an Apax spokesman in London declined all comment, industry sources say talks between Apax and Emap are at a very early stage, and that Apax would be most interested in Emap’s B2B division, which includes WGSN and Retail Week. The price being talked about for the B2B division is 1.3 billion pounds, or $2.63 billion at current exchange. An Emap spokesman declined to comment on any approaches from Apax or other interested parties. An Emap statement said the company was exploring “all options to maximize shareholder value, including a possible sale or demerger of some or all of its constituent businesses.” Emap has retained Citi and Lazard to assist on the review. — Samantha Conti
CLOSET WANDERER: Condé Nast Traveler isn’t the first place fashion fans usually turn to to see clothes other than bikinis and sarongs, but style director Mark Connolly believes travel influences most designers. “I see a collection come down the runway and immediately make the connection — whether it’s Asia or Africa.” To prove the point (and perhaps get more of those all-important ad dollars), the magazine celebrates the Little Black Dress in an 10-page photo feature in its September issue, where designs from Zac Posen, Rodarte, Alberta Ferretti, Christian Dior and Giles Deacon are photographed in Moscow, Paris, London, Barcelona and Rome. “From the moment I saw the Dior dress on the runway I knew I had to shoot it in Barcelona,” while the Zac Posen dress “perfectly mirrors the architecture of the Eiffel Tower,” said Connolly. The only “models” that appear in the shoot are the palace guards in the London spread; the dresses are photographed without humans, and the Barcelona bullfighters and Russian ballerinas are professionals. The September issue marks Condé Nast Traveler’s 20th anniversary, and could rival corporate cousin Vogue in postage costs. It carries 287 ad pages, its most ever. — Stephanie D. Smith
HEALTHY INCREASE: Women’s Health will raise its rate base to 1.1 million from 850,000 effective with the January/February 2008 issue. The female counterpart to Rodale’s Men’s Health — which carries a 1.75 million rate base — is boosting its circulation for the fourth time since its launch two years ago. Women’s Health has more than doubled its circulation since 2005, and is becoming a sizeable competitor to Shape (1.65 million), Fitness (1.5 million) and Self (1.4 million). The magazine’s circulation for the first half of the year grew 52 percent over the same period last year.
The title also has named two top-level ad sales executives: Victoria Fuller was named associate publisher, joining from Interview where she was vice president/associate publisher, and Aisling McDonagh was promoted to online sales director. McDonagh has been with Women’s Health since its launch, overseeing food and travel accounts. — S.D.S.
LET’S MAKE A DEAL: Automotive advertising is the one sector suffering for all magazines these days given the travails of Detroit, but Hearst Magazines has bucked the trend — at least temporarily — with a multimillion dollar ad deal with Infiniti. The luxury car company has agreed to shell out “more than $5 million but less than $10 million,” according to a source, which includes an exclusive event and exhibit at the “Super Bowl of classic car shows,” otherwise known as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, which takes place Aug. 15 to 19. But the event partnership isn’t applicable to all Hearst titles. Infiniti deemed only Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country, SmartMoney and O, The Oprah Magazine as “the right fit” for the Infiniti Gallery of Design, which will begin the first day of the car show. The gallery will showcase two Infiniti vehicles, along with eight surrounding displays from companies such as Shu Uemura and Irene Neuwirth, said Jeff Hamill, Hearst’s senior vice president of advertising sales and marketing. The event is part of a yearlong ad buy from Infiniti across all Hearst titles, said a company spokeswoman, although a four-page wrap-up ad section will turn up only in the December issues of the aforementioned magazines. — Amy Wicks
SUNDAY CONFESSION: The Sunday Times of London has printed an apology for a story that ran July 1 claiming that Stacy Ann Ferguson — aka Fergie — was being paid by Candie’s Inc. to name-check the brand in her song lyrics. “Although Fergie has a commercial deal with Candie’s in which she appears in advertisements for its clothing, this does not include the incorporation of the Candie’s brand into her lyrics. We apologize for the error,” the paper said Sunday. The apology follows a July 12 story in WWD in which Fergie denied she was being paid to name-check the brand, and added that her lawyers would be taking legal action. “It’s completely false. I don’t know where they got it from,” she said. At the time, a spokeswoman at Iconix Brand Group Inc., Candie’s parent company, also denied the report in the Sunday Times. — Lucie Greene