LOOK WHO’S TALKING: Maer Roshan, most recently editorial director of Talk magazine, is assembling a few former Talk staffers to develop a new magazine that observers have dubbed “Talk Without Tina.” Roshan confirmed that he’s in discussions with David Pecker, chief executive officer of American Media.

“It’s more or less true,” said Roshan. “But I wouldn’t call it Talk Without Tina.” He said it’s definitely not a fashion magazine, and is more about pop culture. “It covers the waterfront,” he said. “They’ve been very positive about what they’ve seen so far. I’m cautiously optimistic. I think American Media is an interesting company. They have great distribution and an interest to do this.”

Pecker was traveling and couldn’t be reached for comment, however a spokesman for American Media, told WWD: “He [Pecker] is extremely interested in it. It’s in development talks.” He said Pecker is still looking at the magazine, which would cover entertainment and pop culture. He added that the frequency hasn’t been decided. One of the names they’re tossing around is Radar, he added. “David will be having a meeting with Maer in the next few weeks.”

FEBRUARY JITTERS: February was a killer for the fashion crowd. Apparel and accessories ad revenues in magazines declined 19.4 percent to $76.6 million, while ad pages dropped 26.1 percent, according to Publishers Information Bureau. Beauty advertising appeared to have fared better. Toiletries and cosmetics ad revenues were flat in February at $94.2 million, although pages were off 10.1 percent.

Year-to-date, apparel and accessories ad revenues are off 19.7 percent to $103.3 million, and ad pages are off 24.2 percent. Toiletries and cosmetics ad revenues inched up 2.5 percent to $146.8 million, while ad pages declined 6.5 percent.

Overall, total magazine ad revenue in February decreased 8.2 percent to $1.1 billion across the 12 PIB-tracked categories. Year-to-date, ad revenues are down 9.7 percent to $1.9 billion.

JAPANESE TOUCH: “There’s a lot of intense excitement about Japan right now,” said Mr. Fashion himself, David Remnick, describing why he devoted the New Yorker’s semi-annual style issue to Japan. “The whole place is a field of experimentation. Every day is like Halloween.”

The cover shows a traditional-looking Japanese woman in a kimono made up of dead Pokemons. She’s got ear phones in her ears, and instead of a fan, she’s holding five cell phones.

Inside, there’s a piece on Yeohlee Teng, a letter from Tokyo called “Shopping Rebellion” written by Rebecca Mead; a portfolio of Japanese students photographed at a New York City high school by Martin Schoeller and a critic’s piece by Judith Thurman on Yves Saint Laurent. The issue, which hits stands Monday, carries 78 ad pages, down seven pages from a year ago. Among the new advertisers are Louis Vuitton, Ferragamo, and Coach.

Closer to home, Remnick will interview Hillary Clinton today at the 21 Club on the subject of “The Future of New York.” Some 150 people are expected.

SECOND SHOT: The second Elle Girl has hit newsstands featuring Gwen Stefani on the cover, photographed by Gilles Bensimon. Despite a crowded marketplace that already had one fallout last week — Teen magazine — Brandon Holley, Elle Girl editor in chief, is optimistic about Elle Girl’s potential. She said the magazine is geared toward the older teen, 14 to 19, with a median age of 18. Its rate base is 300,000.

“She’s in high school or college. She’s thinking about cars and college, but doesn’t have a lot of money, but has a lot of style. She doesn’t need advice on how to kiss a boy.” In addition to its spring style pages and a Fashion Flipbook allowing girls to cut the pages and mix and match outfits, the magazine has recommendations on books, cds, and movies, as well as interviews and photos of girls around the world. Elle Girl — which was launched via newsstand last September — sold in excess of 300,000 copies, and carried 74 ad pages. The spring 2002 issue has 48.3 ad pages, with advertisers such as DKNY Jeans, United Colors of Benetton, Jane Cosmetics, Reebok, The Buckle and Clairol Herbal Essence. The magazine will be published four times in 2002, six times in 2003 and 10 times in 2004.

ANOTHER BECKMAN HIRE: Samantha Fennell, former American fashion director on Vogue’s business staff, will join Richard Beckman’s corporate sales and marketing staff as corporate fashion director. She succeeds Tova Bonem, who left the company.

LAWHON FETED: Charla Lawhon got the big fashion welcome in Milan this week. In Style’s editor in waiting (she officially begins April 1) was thrown a cocktail party at the presidential suite at the Hotel Principe Di Savoia on Monday night by In Style fashion directors Hal Rubenstein and Cindy Weber Cleary. Among the 75 guests were Naomi Campbell, Linda Wells, Andre Leon Talley and Amy Spindler.

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