A Rocky Day for Publisher American Media

Replaces Top Editor at 'Star,' Misses Another Restatements Deadline

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Turmoil returned to American Media yesterday, when executives replaced the editor in chief at Star magazine and said the company would miss its fourth deadline to restate previously recorded results.
Joe Dolce is out as editor of 'Star.'
Joe Dolce is out as editor of 'Star.'

Candace Trunzo was named to take over for Joe Dolce at the helm of Star, reporting to Exec VP-Editorial Director Bonnie Fuller. Ms. Trunzo, a former editor in chief of Star and sibling publication Globe, had most recently been senior executive editor at American Media's National Enquirer. She joined American Media in 1994; before that she was a reporter for Time magazine and an editor and writer at Money.

Fears of relocation
Ms. Trunzo's appointment almost immediately reignited fears among staffers at Star's New York headquarters that the magazine will be relocated to Boca Raton, Fla., where Ms. Trunzo is based. Ms. Fuller told employees yesterday that Ms. Trunzo would begin her new duties by coming to New York a couple of days a week; a company spokesman yesterday denied again that Star would move.

Mr. Dolce, whose contract ends March 31, had looked increasingly likely to exit after Star's disappointing newsstand performance during late 2006.

"Throughout her career at Globe, Star and the National Enquirer, Candace has shown she not only can break celebrity news, but get the real story that's behind the headlines," said American Media Chairman-CEO David J. Pecker. "This will help Star gain a significant competitive advantage."

Lost group publisher
A little more competitive advantage would be more than welcome at American Media these days. By arranging for a fourth extension to file its financial restatements, the company has prolonged a period of uncertainty that began in February 2006, when it first said restatements were necessary. The months since then have seen chief financial officers come and go, rumors of all kinds sweep the offices, and just last week, the defection of a longtime group publisher to Meredith Corp.

American Media now says it will start filing restatements March 15 instead of tomorrow, as had been planned.
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