IN FLUX: The art magazine being developed at Condé Nast is on the back burner — at least for now. While the title will undergo another round of focus groups and its fate has not been sealed, the small group of freelancers working on its development at James Truman’s incubator were informed last week that prototype work was being placed on hold temporarily.
Although the art world is heating up again, and the first round of focus groups was said to have gone well, there is concern at Condé Nast about how to fit that sort of magazine into the company’s corporate culture. Most Condé titles have circulations of more than 700,000, while an art magazine, a source close to the company said, would probably have a maximum circulation of 300,000. The company is also doing a heavy push on Cargo, the men’s offshoot of Lucky, which will have an initial circulation of 300,000. A few industry observers also noted that the company’s international division had recently pulled out of a partnership with the Tate Gallery in London to produce its magazine. Condé Nast is owned by Advance Publications, owner of WWD. — Jacob Bernstein
BELT-TIGHTENING: Forbes has apparently run out of Fabergé eggs to sell, so it’s back to good old-fashioned cutbacks. The beleaguered old-school business magazine — which hasn’t been this thin since the Reagan Administration — began laying off staff again Friday and hadn’t finished as of Monday, sources close to the company said. Employees weren’t told who, or how many of their colleagues, would be leaving. A Forbes spokeswoman insisted the real number was only four — although given the magazine’s shrunken staff, any cuts would be significant.
The sources added that the company would also be closing some of its once-lucrative investment newsletters imminently. “Absolutely not,” said the spokeswoman. “This is normal business. This is by no means like last year or the year before,” when Forbes, the magazine, was wracked by layoffs and Forbes, the family, sold off a $35 million chunk of its collection of historical documents and Fabergé eggs. — Greg Lindsay
YOUTH MOVEMENT: Time Inc. grouped four of its faster-growing, younger-skewing magazines into a new “Growth Markets Group” on Monday after a chain reaction of appointments bumped Sports Illustrated’s publisher into Time Inc.’s corporate sales — affecting more than $500 million in ad sales.
SI’s Fabio Freyre became a group vice president in corporate sales and marketing, and was replaced by Dave Morris, who was publisher of Entertainment Weekly. He was replaced by Paul Caine, who was publisher at Teen People, where the job is open for the moment.
EW’s general manager, Cathy O’Brien, is now group publisher of Growth Markets, i.e. Teen People, People en Español, Time for Kids and SI for Kids. “We really want to put ourselves in the best position to grow these magazines,” O’Brien said. — G.L.