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Rob Gregory Leaves Wenner Music Title After Three Years

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Publishing's first major personnel change of 2004 came yesterday when Rolling Stone publisher Rob Gregory informed his boss, Jann Wenner, he was becoming the new group publisher of Dennis Publishing's Maxim.

Mr. Gregory, 45, begins in his new position Jan. 12. He'd spent just shy of three years at Wenner Media's flagship title. He replaces Jamie Hooper, who is leaving Dennis Publishing.

"I told Jann, with all sincerity, it was a

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personal and professional honor to work at Rolling Stone," Mr. Gregory said. Of his new home, he said: "I think they've nailed it," and that Maxim's readers "connect" to the magazine "in a lot more ways than previous generations connected with traditional magazine brands."

He sidestepped a question as to whether he felt Rolling Stone's twice-monthly frequency -- a feature of another key young men's title, ESPN the Magazine -- could be applied to the monthly Maxim, saying only that the "potential for the Maxim brand is so great that nothing is etched in stone."

Mr. Gregory "is a smart guy, and he's funny. And he appreciates my sense of humor and my sick jokes, so I'll miss him," said Kent Brownridge, Wenner's general manager, who added that associate publisher Michael Hess will run Rolling Stone until a replacement is located. ""But do I wish him well? No. I hope he fails. They're a competitor."

Rolling Stone yesterday also lost its art director, Andy Cowles, who with managing editor Ed Needham significantly reworked the look and feel of the title in 2002. Mr. Cowles will return to his native England, Mr. Brownridge said.

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