TIME OUTS: Time Inc. announced a corporate restructuring and a round of business and editorial layoffs Tuesday. In all, 105 workers were let go from the company, which employs 13,300 people. Among those laid off were several longtime, high-level corporate executives and a handful of mid- and lower-level editorial employees. The staff changes are effective Dec. 31.
A Time Inc. spokesman said of the editorial cuts, “It’s across titles and disciplines and geography. Some positions were eliminated, some are being refilled.” She said she knew of editorial employees being let go from Time, Fortune, In Style, People and Sports Illustrated, but did not elaborate on their job titles. Among the known layoffs on the business side were Jack Haire, executive vice president of corporate ad sales; Richard Atkinson, executive vice president of the news and information group, and Eileen Naughton, president of Time magazine.
As part of the reorganization, Ann Moore, Time Inc.’s chairman and chief executive officer, named Nora McAniff and John Squires co-chief operating officers, a first for the company. Stephanie George‘s role was expanded from president of In Style to president of In Style, Real Simple and Essence, and Robin Domeniconi, formerly president and publisher of Real Simple, was promoted to president of corporate sales and marketing.
McAniff explained the moves, saying it was partly a cost-saving strategy and that “there was also a sense that we needed to de-layer the company — we got in each other’s way.” She emphasized the trend toward grouping like titles together. “When people think of women,” she said, “they tend to think of Condé Nast and Hearst. We reach more women than anybody. And our demos are better … But we’ve never talked about it in that way. This is a step in that direction.”
A Time Inc. source said additional job cuts could be coming, as Moore and new editor in chief John Huey look at ways to make the company more efficient.
— Sara James
This story first appeared in the December 14, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
SEX AND THE FOODIE: An HBO series about a female newspaper writer with a glamorous beat and a complicated love life. Sound familiar? No, it’s not “Sex and the City,” but a new show based on the memoirs of Ruth Reichl, Gourmet’s editor in chief. HBO disclosed Tuesday it had bought the rights to two of Reichl’s memoirs, “Comfort Me With Apples” and “Garlic and Sapphires.” She will be an executive producer of the series, along with Cary Brokaw, who produced the network’s adaptations of “Angels in America” and “Wit,” and Dawn Prestwich and Nicole Yorkin, who were part of the team behind “Carnivale.”
The books chronicle Reichl’s years as a food critic, first for The Los Angeles Times and later for The New York Times, as well as her affairs with Colman Andrews, her boss at the time, and Michael Singer, a television producer whom she eventually married. Reichl hinted she and her co-producers would not mind it at all if their show was seen as the successor to “Sex and the City.” “Certainly, the thought has flown around the room,” she said.
There will, of course, be differences. For starters, the new show will hew more closely to reality than did “Sex.” Its main character will be called Ruth Reichl and other characters will be “real people” also — at least in the beginning. “I would imagine it depends how long it lasts, because at a certain point, we run out of material,” said Reichl. “The books aren’t that long.”
It won’t have to stay on very long at all to outlast the most recent memoir-inspired foodie series, “Kitchen Confidential,” which Fox canceled after only half a season.
— Jeff Bercovici
FAMILY PRIDE: The new film version of “The Producers” did not draw a rave from Variety, but one of the performances in the film did: Roger Bart‘s turn as Carmen Ghia, the role he created on Broadway. Critic Todd McCarthy called Bart “even more hilarious onscreen than he was onstage, stealing every scene he’s in even when relegated to the background.” In fact, it was just the latest in a series of glowing Variety reviews for Bart, who in previous roles has been described as “splendidly exuberant,” “deliriously preposterous” and “right on target.”
Such notices must surely warm the heart of Bart’s uncle, Peter Bart — who happens to be Variety’s editor in chief. Reached Tuesday, Peter Bart said he did not consider it necessary to disclose the relationship in the review. “I don’t see reviews until after they come out,” he said. “It never came up.” Besides, he added, “I don’t think Todd McCarthy would give a damn whether [Roger’s] a relative of mine.”
Certainly, the conflict of interest did not stop McCarthy from dismissing the movie as a whole as “undeniably stagy, even clunky.” Did Bart the elder agree with that assessment? “I haven’t seen ‘The Producers’ yet,” he said.