Editor in Chief and Some Staffers Lose Jobs at Hearst Publication

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Hearst Magazines has slashed the frequency of its Country Living offshoot, Country Living
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to four times a year from six.

Editor out
The move will result in fewer than 10 staffers losing their jobs, although one of them is Country Living Gardener's editor in chief, Diana Gold Murphy, according to the company.

A spokesman said the title was being placed "under the umbrella of Country Living," its 25-year-old parent title. Country Living Gardener was launched 10 years ago.

Move to quarterly
Staffers were informed of the decision May 21. The move to a quarterly cycle will begin with a fall issue. A July-August issue was just completed, and will be the last bimonthly issue to hit newsstands and subscribers' mailboxes.

Hearst has reshaped its portfolio with unusual aggression over the past year. It purchased shelter title Veranda and leading teen title Seventeen for a total of about $220 million. Last month it shuttered decorative title Victoria, and co-launched the women's title Lifetime. It also announced it will launch later this year an offshoot of luxury title Town & Country called Town & Country Travel.

Rate base drop
Country Living Gardener's rate base was dropped to 350,000 from 400,000 effective with its August issue. For the last half of 2003 its circulation was down 19.9% to 362,385. Country Living Gardener's publisher, Steven Grune, will remain with the title. The circulation of Country Living is 1.8 million.

Before Hearst bought Veranda last May, it had not made a magazine acquisition since buying men's title Esquire 1986.

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