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Conde Nast creates business publishing group

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Conde Nast Publications announced last month it has formed a new business publishing group that will produce a monthly magazine and corresponding Web site. The title and exact launch date have not been determined, but the magazine is expected to make its debut in 2007.

The New York-based consumer publisher of 18 magazines has tapped David Carey as president of the new group. Carey was previously VP-publisher of The New Yorker, a Conde Nast publication. Prior to that he worked for SmartMoney, a joint venture between The Wall Street Journal and Hearst Corp., and as president-CEO of Gruner & Jahr's Business Information Group.

The newly named editor in chief, Joanne Lipman, joined Conde Nast from The Wall Street Journal , where she was deputy managing editor. Lipman is credited with creating the newspaper's "Weekend Journal" and "Personal Journal" sections during her tenure.

"The company really wants to grow in this area and commit its resources," Carey said. "The idea is that this will be a freestanding unit in the mold of Fairchild and Golf Digest , so over time this becomes a multititle concern."

Industry watchers say they are interested in the form the new publication will take, as details are still sketchy. Some say that given Conde Nast's track record, the new publication will be a force to be reckoned with no matter what. "The only thing we know for certain is because it's Conde Nast, it's going to be a superior effort," said Robert B. Crosland, managing director at Admedia Partners. "They don't do anything halfway."

Despite Conde Nast's reputation, prospects for a new business publication are daunting. Publishers Information Bureau figures for the first half show ad page declines for most general business magazines.

Carey said the tough market for business media is not a concern and could work in the company's favor. "If you have the resources to commit, if a category happens to be in a trough, the odds are that the category will improve by the time the magazine is up and running," he said.

Carey helped launch SmartMoney in 1991. "The stock market was down. ... People thought we were insane," he said. By the time SmartMoney debuted, market conditions had improved considerably and the launch was considered a success.

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