ROLLINS ROLLS OUT: The demise of Ellegirl has claimed a belated casualty: John Rollins, publisher of Elle since April 2005, quietly left the company last week. A former group publisher of Vibe and Spin, Rollins was hired to free up Carol Smith, publishing director of the Elle Group, to devote more attention to other properties, including Ellegirl and a women’s service title called Red. The partnership seems to have worked well: Elle’s ad pages were up 10.7 percent last year, and are up another 13.6 percent in the first half of 2006, according to Media Industry Newsletter.
But parent company Hachette Filipacchi Media declined to go ahead with Red after a test issue generated middling sales numbers. Then, in April, Hachette shut down Ellegirl (or, at least, its print edition — plans call for it to hang around as a Web-only publication). “Once the dust had settled after the shutdown, we went through the books and realized we were a little top heavy in management,” said Rollins. “Frankly, there wasn’t a need for an independent publisher of Elle when that’s pretty much all Carol does now.” (Well, not quite all — Smith still oversees new spin-off Elle Accessories and Elle.com.) Rollins said he has been in discussions with several companies and expects to announce a new post shortly.
— Jeff Bercovici
iPAGES: If you publish a music magazine, it makes sense to give it away where the hardcore music consumers congregate. These days, that means iTunes, Apple’s online song store. That’s where The Fader will be offering free downloads of its summer issue beginning today. According to publisher Andy Cohn, it’s the first time an entire magazine has been distributed over iTunes, which will feature the issue in its “New and Notable” podcasts section. Given The Fader’s relatively small circulation of 87,500, it could prove a substantial extension of the title’s reach. “We want to use it as an opportunity to expose The Fader to as many people as possible,” Cohn said.
Southern Comfort is sponsoring the download; other Fader advertisers will receive the extra readership from the digital edition as a free bonus. Depending how popular the download proves, The Fader might sell future issues on iTunes, said Cohn. “We’re going to just see the kind of response that we get and take it one day at a time moving forward.”