DAN BREWSTER'S OUSTER IS OFFICIAL

Gruner & Jahr Names Interim Replacement

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Dan Brewster, president-CEO of Gruner & Jahr USA Publishing, was ousted following an 11 a.m. meeting today with G&J's international head Axel Ganz, an executive familiar with the situation said.

Mr. Ganz will run the U.S. unit on an

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interim basis while the company searches for a replacement.

German headquarters
Reached this morning before the meeting, Mr. Ganz declined to comment on what he termed a "sensitive internal issue." But the news was not a surprise, following a wave of coverage that G&J's German parent company sought such a move. The news first broke Monday in Der Spiegel.

Mr. Brewster held a meeting Tuesday with his top managers. According to an executive who attended the meeting, Mr. Brewster said he had been assured over the weekend of no immediate changes in his status but nevertheless conceded, "I can read the tea leaves."

Mr. Brewster, an articulate and media-genic executive whose performance running American Express Publishing Corp. granted him rising-star status in the magazine world, came into G&J in June 2000 with a self-described mandate to double the company's revenues of $420 million within five years.

Brewster's big moves
To do this, though, G&J spent over $500 million to acquire business magazines Inc. and Fast Company shortly before the new-economy bubble burst. His other big move, relaunching fading title McCalls as Rosie, ended in acrimony and a bruising, high-profile legal battle with its brand embodiment, former talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell. As part of that ugly courtroom drama, G&J's former top circulation executive admitted the company knowingly submitted inflated newsstand sales figures for Rosie to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Similarly, advertising gains at G&J's teen title YM that occurred during Mr. Brewster's tenure were seriously tarnished when two separate ABC audits found that the magazine had significantly overstated its newsstand sales. (The most recent of these audits came to light only last week.)

What other changes at G&J may follow is not yet known. Messrs. Brewster and Ganz could not be reached for comment by press time, and a spokeswoman declined to comment.

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