Travel & Leisure Publisher Steps Down

Julie McGowan Leaves AmEx Title; Replacement Being Sought

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- After a rough year at the helm of Travel & Leisure magazine, Julie McGowan is stepping down as senior VP-publisher, effective this Friday. Ms. McGowan was named publisher last summer, when American Express Publishing needed a successor to its publisher of 17 years, Ellen Asmodeo-Giglio. Ms. McGowan had been senior VP-publisher at AmEx Publishing's Food & Wine.
Julie McGowan
Julie McGowan

Lost ad-page lead
But the regime change at Travel & Leisure, combined with a 20th-anniversary year at archrival Condé Nast Traveler, cost a lot in momentum. Travel & Leisure saw its perennial ad-page lead disappear in 2007 as a 16.4% decline from January through September left its total at 1,101 pages, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Traveler grew ad pages by 9.5% to 1,230.

In an internal staff memo, AmEx Publishing President-CEO Ed Kelly said Ms. McGowan's departure was her choice. "While she conceded that it was a difficult decision, Julie has concluded that, for a number of personal and professional reasons, it is the right time to close this chapter and move on," Mr. Kelly wrote. "Julie took the reins at Travel & Leisure in August 2006, closing out a record-breaking 35th-anniversary year for the title. Completing a year of transition in 2007, Julie leaves Travel & Leisure having delivered the biggest December ad revenue in the magazine's history."

Although Mr. Kelly likes to look internally for existing talent to elevate, he will also consider candidates outside the company. A new publisher is expected to be named soon.
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