ONE LITTLE INDIAN: Holdovers from the Dan Brewster regime at Gruner + Jahr USA are an increasingly endangered species. Executive vice president Cindy Spengler wasn’t just let go Tuesday — her spot on the corporate masthead was erased altogether. Spengler, along with surviving executive vice president Dan Rubin, had formed a triumvirate at the top of the company with Brewster, who was let go in January. Spengler was widely seen in the advertising community as being more culpable in G+J’s circulation deceptions than Brewster or Diane Potter, the circulation chief who eventually took the fall last November. “Dan [Brewster] just had the misfortune of steering the ship into the iceberg,” claimed one source close to the company. “Cindy [Spengler] made the iceberg.”

G+J also added a Cindy on Tuesday — new circulation chief Cindy Still, who arrives from Time Inc.’s Time4Media division to replace Potter. G+J USA interim ceo Axel Ganz stressed that the Cindys’ comings and goings had absolutely nothing to do with each other. “There is nothing else to say,” he said. “There is no connection between Cindy Still and Cindy Spengler. And Dan Rubin.”

This story first appeared in the February 18, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Still’s appointment to executive vice president (the same title Spengler had, albeit with different responsibilities) simply means “we are showing the importance we are giving to her position,” Ganz said. He also rejected the idea that Rubin’s reputation at G+J is as compromised as was Spengler’s. “He’s doing a very good job,” Ganz said. “He’s helping me a lot.” — Greg Lindsay

DARK STAR: David Pecker will have to keep looking. After negotiating through the weekend, former Talk publisher Lee Rosenbaum turned down the publisher’s post at Star Magazine, a job that would have required relaunching the magazine as a nationwide glossy in a little less than two months. “I wish David Pecker and Bonnie Fuller and the crew there the very best of luck,” he said. — G.L.

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