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MISS JANUARY: “Deeply sensual.” That’s how Donatella Versace describes January Jones. Surely Mario Testino got the designer’s memo, as he photographed the actress for Versace’s new spring-summer 2011 ad campaign wearing nothing more than the brand’s accessories: bags, shoes, sunglasses and optical frames.
“I am always on the lookout for the next Versace blonde…and in January I feel I have found a perfect Versace woman for the 21st century,” said Versace. “She is chic and elegant but deeply sensual too.”
The black-and-white images were shot in London, and hair and makeup hark back to the Sixties — a reference to Jones’ role in “Mad Men.” — Luisa Zargani
ON THE TRAIL: Condé Nast parent Advance Publications has an M&A man. Andrew Siegel, most recently the head of corporate development at Yahoo, has been named the first-ever senior vice president of corporate development at Advance. He starts Jan. 3.
The Siegel announcement came on the same day that Discovery Communications repurchased stock from Advance for $500 million. It appears that’s a pot of Advance money that Siegel will be able to play with.
“We’re going to use that as a war chest for business development,” said Steven Newhouse, chairman of advance.net. “As head of corporate development, he’s going to have a big role in that.”
Siegel is likely to make moves in an area where the company is desperately trying to make greater in-roads: digital.
“Because of his digital experience at Yahoo, he’s particularly well-suited to do deals in that space, and there are a lot of opportunities to do deals that might benefit Condé Nast,” said Newhouse.
Siegel, like Condé Nast’s first chief technology officer Joe Simon, is yet another executive at the company who does not have a magazine or newspaper publishing background. Prior to his stint at Yahoo, Siegel was an executive at General Electric, the head of corporate development for InVision Technologies (which GE purchased in 2004 for $900 million and which was best-known for creating explosive detection technology for the Transportation Security Administration), and an investment banker with Merrill Lynch.
“GE is like the Harvard for corporate development,” said Newhouse.
While Siegel was at Yahoo, he oversaw that company’s acquisitions of Associated Content and Citizen Sports. AllThingsD reported Siegel also made strong plays for Foursquare, Yelp and Groupon, but that none of those deals went through, partly due to concerns about Yahoo’s future.
Newhouse said Siegel will report to Advance chief financial officer Tom Summer.
— John Koblin
SPEAKING OF DIGITAL…: The publishing company of the future will rely heavily on digital and so the race has begun to poach the best and brightest to oversee it all. On Monday, Time Inc. appointed Interactive Advertising Bureau chief executive officer Randall Rothenberg executive vice president, chief digital officer, a new position. The move signals Time Inc. is ready to put more money and man power into the digital space and build on what it’s accomplished in 2010, with the acquisition of StyleFeeder and creation of shopping site StyleFind, which launched a few weeks ago.
Rothenberg, who starts his new position in mid-January, has been charged with exploring digital revenue opportunities such as acquisitions (presumably going head-to-head against Advance Publications’ Andrew Siegel) and expanding its advertising supported and subscription business. To date, People magazine is the only title that has formed a subscription model with Apple (subscribers to the magazine can also access it on the iPad). Rothenberg has a history in publishing, spending six years at The New York Times as technology editor and politics editor for the Sunday magazine. He also covered media and marketing as a reporter.
“I’m so far beyond that now that we can leave that to the journalists,” Rothenberg told WWD, adding that he’s been speaking with Time Inc. ceo Jack Griffin for weeks about the job but doesn’t have a game plan that he’s ready to reveal. “The opportunities and challenges are fairly clear,” he noted. “There’s been a remarkable explosion in the mobile space. We’re just entering a period where every week, a new tablet device of some kind will debut in the marketplace. We need to rethink and reimagine media brands and products. We are probably entering an unparalleled time and there is so much to be considered.”
On his early agenda he will be addressing questions and issues relating to data usage and control. “Data fuels interactive media and it’s important to understand what we mean when we talk data and what the various forms are,” he said. In addition to his work at Time Inc., Rothenberg will also serve as a representative on the board of Next Issue Media, the consortium of Time Inc., Hearst and Condé Nast.
— Amy Wicks