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GRUNER & JAHR LAYS OFF WORKERS

60 Staffers Axed; 20 Open Positions Frozen

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Gruner & Jahr USA Publishing today will announce the layoff of about 60 staffers and the freezing of approximately 20 open positions, according to executives familiar with the matter.

The company, which publishes seven major titles including Parents, Fast Company and Family Circle, is believed to employ around 650 people.

A G&J spokeswoman declined to comment.

The moves come following a memo from early August from G&J's new president-CEO, Russell Denson. The memo outlined a goal to slash costs in the company by $25 million, which he said would bring G&J's profit margins to 10%, if revenues held steady. (G&J's annual revenues last year were in the $400 million range.) Of those cuts, the memo said, $12 million was "going to have to come from 'top-down' changes, which are about finding ways to be more successful with less people."

The memo said that that $12 million represented around 15% of budgeted employee-related costs.

Separately, Julie Pinkwater, publisher of G&J's Fitness, is heading to Meredith Corp. to become publisher of Ladies' Home Journal. Ms. Pinkwater starts at Meredith Sept. 20.

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