Byline: Lisa Lockwood / With contributions from Jacob Bernstein / Peter Braunstein, New York / Samantha Conti, London
OUT OF FASHION: So why exactly did Emap Elan pull the plug on its much-hyped magazine The Fashion? The British media group blamed the dismal advertising climate for the closure of the twice-yearly U.K. fashion mag edited by Sarah Mower, but other observers don’t buy it.
Barry Mcllheney, chief executive of Emap Elan, said that while the magazine had reached its circulation targets, profitability was dented by the impact of Sept. 11. However, insiders said advertising at the magazine — which was launched in September 2000 and published just four issues, was only down by 10 percent, and that the real reasons were the ongoing corporate turmoil at Emap and the company’s difficulty in sustaining niche publications. “The newsstand situation is brutal and Emap is focused on protecting its big brands. It doesn’t have the finesse, systems or distribution to sustain a magazine like The Fashion,” said one insider.
So what does that mean for Pop, the twice-yearly magazine that Emap launched a week after The Fashion? The Emap folks remain upbeat. “Pop is really thriving at the moment,” a spokeswoman said. “It has always been the more successful of the two, I think because it has a unisex appeal which consequently attracts a much wider readership.”
Insiders say The Fashion and Pop were always in direct competition. Sources say Pop has always had the edge over The Fashion because of its editor Katie Grand, who’s thick with such industry stars as Luella Bartley, Liberty Ross, Stella McCartney and Phoebe Philo — not to mention top photographers and stylists.
The Fashion’s closure also raises questions over the futures of the slew of twice-yearly titles that followed in its wake, including Time Inc.’s Spruce and Another Magazine, edited by Kate Moss’s boyfriend Jefferson Hack.
FURNISHING LIVING ROOM: Bonnie Fuller has severed ties with the Meredith Corp. following her appointment as editor in chief of US Weekly but that hasn’t stopped Myrna Blyth, editorial director of New York-based magazines at Meredith, from finding a new editor for its fall test issue of Living Room. Jeanie Pyun, a former deputy executive editor from the shuttered Mademoiselle, will edit the fall’s test issue, described by insiders as House Beautiful-meets-Lucky.
Pyun is joined by another Conde Naster, Glamour’s senior lifestyle editor Sara Ruffin, who takes the reigns as creative director.
FREE HAL: In the volatile, feral world of South Beach food festivals, sometimes innocent people get hurt — and sometimes those people are members of the Miami police department and New York media figures. That’s what happened to roving New York magazine food critic Hal Rubenstein, who was arrested last Sunday after allegedly shoving a police officer while trying to gain entrance to the Grand Tasting Tent at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Rubenstein, who was briefly detained by police before charges of disorderly conduct were dropped, told WWD his poignant tale of culinary chaos, arrest and redemption. “It wasn’t the police’s fault; it was just a giant misunderstanding,” said Rubenstein, who also works as fashion features editor for In Style magazine and has shoved his way into his share of fashion shows. “It was a melee. The event was more successful than organizers expected, there was no crowd control, and VIP reception was essentially left to the Miami police. I couldn’t get past, the crowd pressed me forward, a policeman got jostled and then he shoved me.”
Unlike various figures in the rap world, Rubenstein insisted that he bears no grudge against “The Man.” “The Miami chief of police has called me three times since I got back to New York to see that I’m all right — I think we’re friends now,” he said. “I ask you: What native New Yorker, like myself, would deliberately shove a cop? I thought the guy was a security guard. No charges were placed, but Page Six blew the whole thing out of proportion like you’d expect.” Rubenstein added that his various employers are completely supportive of his position. “Everyone here at New York magazine understands that this wasn’t my fault.”
WHERE DO TALK VETERANS GO?: Conde Nast is sweeping up the former staff of Talk. Lisa Dallos, Talk’s former director of public relations, will join Ron Galotti at GQ as director of public relations. She begins April 1 and will handle both the editorial and business sides. She takes over duties formerly handled by Kathleen Madden and Mistrella Egan, who handled p.r. for GQ’s editorial and business sides, respectively.
Madden will become director of special projects, corporate communications, reporting to Maurie Perl, senior vice president, corporate communications, and Egan has joined Tom Florio at Vogue as director of public relations for the business side. Patrick O’Connell continues as director of communications for Vogue’s editorial side.
Meanwhile, Kevin Belden has been named executive director of creative serves of corporate sales and marketing at Conde Nast. He had been associate publisher for marketing at Talk, beginning in November, 2001. Before that he was associate publisher of marketing for In Style. Pamela Norwood, former corporate creative services director at Conde Nast, has been named executive director of creative and marketing services at the new Conde Nast Bridal Division.