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Memo Pad

AOL MAIL: What do you do when faulty accounting practices lead to a headline inducing a $190 million write-down? Send out a companywide e-mail to all your AOL Time Warner employees explaining to them that the situation is (really!) not that bad....

AOL MAIL: What do you do when faulty accounting practices lead to a headline inducing a $190 million write-down? Send out a companywide e-mail to all your AOL Time Warner employees explaining to them that the situation is (really!) not that bad.

This story first appeared in the October 29, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“It’s useful to put this matter in perspective,” said an e-mail sent by Richard Parsons, ceo of AOL Time Warner, Thursday to employees. “First, the dollar amount involved is relatively small. These reductions represent just 1 percent of AOL Time Warner’s total revenue, 3.4 percent of its advertising and commercial revenue, and 1.9 percent of its EBITDA over the same two years. Second, this restatement will not have any significant effect on our current operations or our future financial results. Third, based on the substantial work done to date, we do not expect any further restatements resulting from our internal review,” though the e-mail went on to acknowledge that the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice are continuing their investigations into the company and that “we cannot predict the outcome.”

Not everyone at the company was reassured.

“One-hundred and 90 million dollars!?” said a company source. “That sounds like a lot of money. I would say we should be in more trouble than poor Martha Stewart.”

— Jacob Bernstein

DELIVERY: The stork arrived on Thursday evening for Sally Singer. The Vogue fashion news-features director delivered Oscar O’Neill, who came in at a healthy 7 pounds 12 ounces. The baby’s father and Singer’s husband is writer Joe O’Neal. The child is their third, and last, said Singer. Singer will be out of the office on maternity leave, but will arrive back in December. Until then, veteran fashion journalist and Vogue contributing editor Sarah Mower will fill in for her at the office.

— J.B.

HER WAY: Hedi Slimane sought a woman’s touch for his spring 2003 campaign for Dior Homme. Ines Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin recently did the shoot in New York. Slimane said the campaign will be black and white and portray the same allure, tradition and portrait theme. The first three campaigns for Dior Homme were lensed by Richard Avedon.

— Miles Socha

PINI LEAVES CONDE NAST: Robert Pini, director of corporate communications at Condé Nast Publications, has resigned. “I’m taking time off and want to reassess what I want to do with the next chapter in my life,” said Pini, who helped launch Lucky and directed p.r. for Wired. He previously did p.r. for Glamour.

Before joining Condé Nast, Pini was public relations director for “Good Morning America.” His sucessor hasn’t been named.

— L.L.