Leaves Conde Nast Unit Four Months After Reorganization

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Mary G. Berner, group president of the Fairchild division of Conde Nast Publications, has resigned “to pursue other business opportunities,” Conde Nast said today. Her departure is effective as of the end of January and triggers yet another reorganization.
Photo: Scott Gries
Mary Berner

Ms. Berner’s move comes three months after a reorganization transformed Fairchild Publications from a sibling of Conde Nast Publications into a subordinate unit, reporting to Charles H. Townsend.

“I happily ran a company for six years,” Ms. Berner said today. “It’s been an incredibly great experience. But I realized I like running the whole thing. I like the scope. That’s what I’m good at.”

She denied any resentment over the September reorganization that led to her decision to leave. “Nothing was done to me,” she said. “It was a structural move that made a lot of sense.” Fairchild should perhaps have been integrated into Conde Nast even earlier, she said.

Ms. Berner’s exit triggered a new reorganization at the company. Fairchild titles Jane, Details and Cookie will now report directly to Mr. Townsend, president-CEO, Conde Nast Publications. Fairchild’s fashion and retail trade groups -- including WWD, DNR, Footwear News, Menswear International, Supermarket News and others -- as well as W magazine and the Conde Nast Bridal Group, will report to Mitchell B. Fox, group president, the Golf Digest Publications division of Conde Nast. Mr. Fox reports to Mr. Townsend.

Ms. Berner was named president-CEO of Fairchild Publications in 1999, the year that Conde Nast parent Advance Communications bought Fairchild from Disney for a reported $650 million. She was named Advertising Age’s Publishing Executive of the Year in 2004. Before joining Fairchild, she was VP-publisher, Conde Nast’s Glamour, and previously worked at TV Guide and Working Woman.

She said she wants to make another run like the one she had at Fairchild but would not jump into anything. “I’m going to make the right next choice,” she said.

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