A SPRUCE FALLS: It looks as if Spruce, Wallpaper Group’s biannual fashion title that was suspended last year, may never again see the light of day. “I’m concentrating on getting the core product — Wallpaper — right now,” editor Jeremy Langmead said. “I don’t think Spruce is very good, and if it were to return, it would have to come back much improved.” He’s right to be worried about the flagship, which readers clearly didn’t think improved during the interim reign of former Teen People editor Christina Ferrari. Its circulation declined 15.5 percent in the second half of last year, to 110,811, according to the British Audit Bureau of Circulations.
This story first appeared in the February 25, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Spruce’s apparent death would seem to make the much-vaunted “Wallpaper Group” a bit of a misnomer, but Langmead hopes to restock it with new titles at some point. “I have other new magazines in mind,” he said, “but no launches planned for this year.”
— Samantha Conti
NOT-SO “FAST” EDITORS: Art Cooper wasn’t the only editor rendered obsolete Monday. Fast Company founders Bill Taylor and Alan Webber announced they would step down from their shared editor in chief post as soon as they can hire a successor for the Gruner + Jahr-owned title. The pair tried numerous tricks to revive the magazine’s relevance after the New Economy imploded. “That evangelical tone is over,” said a former senior staffer. “The last two to recognize how quickly the magazine was losing its audience were Bill and Alan.” Nevertheless, the magazine’s circulation still grew in the last six months of 2002 to 734,449 from, even though newsstand sales slumped 20.4 percent. Meanwhile, G+J promoted Cindy Spengler to an EVP as well as chief marketing officer. YM publisher Laura McEwen will report to her now. McEwen’s stock dropped after WWD revealed that she had overestimated YM’s newsstand circulation in the first half of 2001 by more than 200,000 copies an issue.
— Greg Lindsay and Jacob Bernstein