Meeting the 'dollar goal'
"We met our total dollar goal," said
Mr. Denson and a company spokeswoman declined to comment on how the layoffs impacted specific titles, although Mr. Denson said the layoffs and the eliminations of open jobs resulted in "80-some-odd" positions being cut.
Last month, Mr. Denson outlined in a company memo a goal to slash costs by $25 million that he said would bring profits margins to 10% if revenues held steady. (G&J's 2003 revenues were around $400 million.) Of those cuts, the memo said, $12 million had "to come from 'top-down' changes, which are about finding ways to be more successful with less people."
Mr. Denson said today's cutbacks marked the conclusion of that cost-reduction process.
Improved quality of life
Mr. Denson said that a return to greater profitability would mean a substantially improved quality of life for surviving G&J employees, who have been subjected to salary freezes and, for the past two years, received no payouts from the company's profit-sharing plan.
In light of Mr. Denson's goals for G&J profitability, speculation continues to swell over the fate of its ailing teen title, the money-losing YM.
Ad pages down 42%
That magazine was badly stung by advertiser backlash to recent revelations of significant circulation overstatements as well as a deep malaise affecting the entire teen-magazine category. Through September, according to Media Industry Newsletter figures, YM's ad pages were down 42.2%.
Asked about whether the company would consider exploring a sale of YM, Mr. Denson said, "We are still doing what we've been saying we are doing. We are looking for the best possible publishing formula for YM."