THE WAR CONTINUES: Two weeks ago, magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr filed a $100 million lawsuit against celebrity Rosie O’Donnell for pulling the plug on their joint venture, Rosie magazine. On Monday, the former talk queen pumped it up a notch, filing a countersuit against the company for having “mounted a hostile takeover of the magazine” and accusing the company’s chief executive officer, Dan Brewster, of launching a “smear campaign” against her. The staggering amount she’s seeking? One hundred and twenty five million dollars — yes, $125 million — and a trial by jury against the company.
This story first appeared in the October 22, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
— Jacob Bernstein
A NOT-SO-HOT NOVEMBER: Ad page totals among the five major fashion titles were slightly better in November than they were in October, but it remained another lackluster month. Of the five core fashion titles, only In Style posted a significant boost in ad pages over the same period last year, according to newly released figures from Media Industry Newsletter. For November, In Style carried 292.95 pages, a 10 percent gain over last year’s 266.34 pages. Vogue beat them out for first place this month with 340.2 pages of ads, but it still dropped 11.4 percent from last year’s 384 pages of ads. Coming in third was W, with 209.6 ad pages, a gain of 0.1 percent from last year’s 209.5 ad pages.
Elle was fourth with 146.84 ad pages, a drop of 11.5 percent from last year’s 165.96 ad pages. Harper’s Bazaar, after experiencing low-single-digit gains for the last three months, posted a drop in ad pages this November. The magazine’s 139.8 ad pages were off 12.5 percent from last year’s 159.84 ad pages
HOME SWEET HOME: Magazines realize one sure fire way to drum up additional business is special issues. Next October, In Style will add another special issue to its stable: In Style Home. It already has In Style Makeover, The Look and Weddings. Can Kids be far away?
“In Style Home will draw upon In Style’s signature access to celebrities’ homes as well as the top experts and Hollywood style makers in design, home accessories and entertaining with real-life solutions and achievable ideas,” said managing editor Charla Lawhon. It will also offer organizing and storage ideas — where, for example, to put all those back issues of In Style. The issue will be edited by Clare McHugh, editor of specials at In Style.
BIDDING ADIEU: More changes are in the works at Condé Nast France. Francois Dieulesaint, the finance director and deputy director general of the company, has made known his intentions to leave early next year, and a search is under way for a new chief financial officer. Dieulesaint was interim president of Condé Nast France following the exit of Gardner Bellanger in April and was at the time considered a candidate for the top spot. Didier Suberbielle, an executive from Pommery champagne, was named president and director general in July and has been on the job since September.
— Miles Socha
CHEAPDATE IN LONDON: Cheapdate editors Bay Garnett and Kira Jolliffe have been spending a lot of time in London recently, and now we know why. Their magazine, which until now has been published in New York, is coming to London. “The content will be pretty much the same as the New York edition,” Garnett told WWD. “However, we’ll switch a few things around to cater to London’s tastes. Cheapdate has always been a very London-style magazine, so it seemed the natural thing to do,” she added. The London edition is set to launch in March.
— Samantha Conti
CHAI TO BAZAAR: Tina Chai has joined Harper’s Bazaar as fashion editor — features and shopping. She succeeds Matthew Edelstein, who left the magazine. Most recently, Chai was fashion editor at Mademoiselle, doing sittings, before which she was a fashion associate at Vogue. Since leaving Mademoiselle, Chai has been been freelancing and living in Paris.