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Memo Pad

TIME FOR ATTRITION: When Time Inc. ceo Ann Moore announced in December the company would be aiming to cut costs by $100 million in 2003, staffers began to whisper that layoffs might be ahead. So far there are no plans for a RIF — reduction in...

TIME FOR ATTRITION: When Time Inc. ceo Ann Moore announced in December the company would be aiming to cut costs by $100 million in 2003, staffers began to whisper that layoffs might be ahead. So far there are no plans for a RIF — reduction in force — but sources at Time Inc. said that jobs being vacated are frequently being eliminated. Each magazine is also being asked to submit a plan of cost cutting — even the marquee titles.

Which means editors are playing a zero-sum game, hiring whom they want to and cutting costs as staffers leave for other jobs (which a Time spokesman termed “selective hiring.”). At People, for example, Martha Nelson recently brought on Time’s film writer Jess Cagle and EW’s former executive editor Richard Sanders, but when two positions in the photo department were vacated in the fall, their duties were assigned to remaining staffers. Ditto at Fortune, where an empty chair in the publicity department was moved to the storage closet. And the position held by Cagle at Time is not likely to be filled by an outside candidate, even though it had the money to tap Primary Colors author Joe Klein as a contributor.

“We are looking at ways to achieve significant savings,” the spokesman said. “We are going to look everywhere.”

— Jacob Bernstein

SUPPLEMENTAL STYLE: Variety and Business Week International are the latest magazines to take the plunge into fashion publishing. Variety will drop the first issue of V Life on March 5, publisher Charles Koones said. Renée Zellweger is currently being photographed for the cover, and 60,000 copies will be printed. Inside will be standard upscale lifestyle fare on fashion, entertainment and dining. It’s currently scheduled to appear six times a year and is being produced mostly in-house by freelancers.

Business Week International’s entry, named Fashion Week, will also bow in March as a twice-annual supplement. Pierce Brosnan is the cover subject, while articles focus on product, motoring and grooming, and advertisers include Burberry, Giorgio Armani, Paul Smith and Richard James. Fashion Week will be produced by Swordfish, the newly minted, London-based publishing company owned by Peter Howarth, who left as editor of U.K. Esquire last month.

— Greg Lindsay and Samantha Conti