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CEO Says 1,000 Job Cuts and Sale of Assets Helped

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Primedia's CEO today said the pressured publishing
CEO Tom Rogers
company would be able to meet its financial obligations in 2002.

Tom Rogers reassured a roomful of financial analysts at the UBS Warburg media conference over that point, walking the room through the company's math to show how Primedia would meet its obligations, aided, in part, because no "significant" repayments obligations of its $2 billion-plus debt were due until 2004.

2002 to be 'difficult'
Despite what Mr. Rogers characterized as strength in endemic advertising, the company's major stream of ad dollars, and strong newsstand sales at Barnes & Noble -- where Mr. Rogers said Primedia's titles outsold Conde Nast Publications and Hearst Magazines

titles combined -- he made clear that 2002 would be difficult.

1,000 jobs
One presentation slide concerning prospects for the future bore the title "Battening down the hatches," and Mr. Rogers said the company had cut about 1,000 positions this year.

As for Primedia's planned asset sales, aimed at raising the $250 million the company has earmarked for debt reduction, Mr. Rogers said parties had bid on titles known to be on the selling block -- its gun- and photography-related titles. He added that the company was "being deliberate" in deciding its next

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round of asset sales.

Consumer titles for sale?
Asked whether or not the company would entertain offers for its larger consumer titles -- among them New York and Seventeen -- Mr. Rogers said, "We haven't commented on that."

A spokesman late today told AdAge.com Mr. Rogers' reply was consistent with the company's previous statements on the matter.

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