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Primedia’s Conlin is ousted; company says it may split up

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New York—Primedia Inc., which went on a buying spree during the dot-com frenzy but failed to capitalize on all its assets, said on Monday night that it is considering splitting itself into two entities. At the same time, the company said CEO Kelly Conlin is leaving the company and Dean Nelson, currently the chairman of Primedia, will succeed him. Primedia also said its pre-tax earnings for 2005 would decline by as much as a double-digit percentage versus 2004; the company earlier estimated earnings would be flat to slightly down in the low single-digit percentage range. Primedia’s shares tumbled 18% to $2.50 in after-hours trading on Monday. On Tuesday, trading of the company’s shares was halted after an opening drop of 28%. Primedia, which recently completed the sale of its b-to-b portfolio to Wasserstein & Partners for $385 million, has also shed its consumer properties, such as New York Magazine. It sold the About.com Web site to the New York Times Co. for $410 million earlier this year after purchasing it in 2000 in a stock deal valued at about $690 million.
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