The Buzz

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Rosie O'Donnell wants a thank you note from Bill Kerr. Which is understandable, given she takes responsibility for the crash and burn of Gruner & Jahr's U.S. division. Last week, following the news that Meredith Corp. would buy G&J's four remaining women's titles, Rosie posted on her blog at rosie.com, her own thoughts on the sale. In her unique, haiku-ish, free-form verse, she wrote, "DO U THINK/I WILL GET A THANK U NOTE/FROM MEREDITH PUBLISHING/KARMA IS A KILLER." Karma is one word for it. But the Buzz feels the bad karma really started with the $500 million G&J was so eager to spend under the expansion plan set by President-CEO Dan Brewster to acquire Fast Company and Inc.-moments before the dot-com bust. Now Meredith is spending $350 million to acquire the four titles that aren't the business books. And if G&J can't find anyone else to take them, Meredith says it will sell the two of them off for whatever it can get, which the Buzz is pretty sure won't be anywhere near a half-billion dollars. The Rosie trial, which ultimately devolved from a fight over who could profit off Rosie's name to damaging revelations of circulation mismanagement, certainly proved to be the beginning of the end. But we can't credit Rosie completely for G&J's exit from the U.S. market. Buzz does, however, agree with her on one posted thought. "I WISH I FELT GLEE/I DON'T/WHAT A WASTE."
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