GRUNER & JAHR CLOSES 'HOMESTYLE' MAGAZINE

March Is The Last Issue

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The magazine world lost its first title of 2002, as Gruner & Jahr USA Publishing shuttered its ailing HomeStyle today.

Staffers were informed the March 2002 HomeStyle will

be the last in a meeting this morning.

In a company announcement, Dan Brewster, President-CEO of G&J USA said "in the current economic environment we must concentrate our resources in areas that are central to G&J USA's portfolio."

Troubled title
As a home and design title in a stable of women's, parenting, and business titles, HomeStyle found itself without easy advertising adjacencies among its corporate siblings.

The title had been through change since even before Mr. Brewster came on board in June 2000. Originally an offshoot of Family Circle when that title was owned by the New York Times and called American Homestyle and Gardening, it later dropped the Gardening and further shortened its tag to HomeStyle last year.

G&J head Dan Brewster announced the close of 'HomeStyle.'

Related Story:
GRUNER & JAHR PLANS CUTBACKS AND 'SACRIFICES'
CEO Memo Warns Staffers of Planned 'Streamlining'

Its editor, Suzanne Slesin, unveiled her redesign with the October '01 issue. But the title failed to garner significant ad support.

In the first half of 2001, HomeStyle's circulation was 974,336, down 4.6% from the previous year.

Ad pages down
Its 2001 ad pages were just 468.4, down 26.2% from 2000, according to Publishers Information Bureau. Around the time of the last redesign, said one G&J executive, management debated whether or not the title should simply be shuttered.

In a memo that went out to staffers Jan. 4, Mr. Brewster outlined a sort of company statement of purpose for the current recessionary environment, but the memo hinted broadly that additional cutbacks and layoffs -- "streamlining" -- could be on the way.

Among other things, the memo said "the properties within our portfolio that show the greatest growth potential should receive the most support" and "protecting our core profit contributors is an essential priority." Ultimately, the company's triage for tough times spelled doom for HomeStyle.

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