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Debt-Ridden Publisher to Consider 'Selective Divestitures'

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Primedia views "selective divestitures" as one way to reduce debt but has no plans for more major asset sales and "no imperative" to unload assets following the sale of Seventeen to Hearst Corp., the company said today.

Primedia reported flat first-quarter revenue and a sharply lower loss. Revenue was $375.8 million vs. $388.9 million a year earlier. Net loss was $20.2 million; its year-ago loss was $506.5 million, including a $388.5 million charge for accounting changes.

Consumer media revenue increased 1.7%,

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Sale by Primedia Continues Debt-Reduction Plans
while business-to-business revenue dropped 9.1%.

Search for CEO under way
The specialty media company said it hired Spencer Stuart to search for a chairman-CEO to replace Tom Rogers, who left last month.

Interim Chairman Dean Nelson, speaking to analysts today, said Charles McGurdy, president and interim CEO, is "a strong candidate."

Primedia sold Seventeen to Hearst for $182 million last week. The company had been selling off blocks of its portfolio to help pay down its long-term debt load, which now stands at around $1.77 billion.

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