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STAFF OF 'WORKING WOMAN' MAGAZINE LAID OFF

Title on Hiatus as Company Restructures

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Working Woman and Working Mother, the magazines published by the Working Woman Network, are changing hands
and undergoing a significant restructuring -- including the laying off of the entire staff of Working Woman.

In a complex deal -- the precise contours of which remain uncertain at this time -- the Arlington, Va.-based bank MCG Capital that was Working Woman Network's major lender is essentially taking over the property and installing Carol Evans, who formerly published Working Mother, as an equity partner to run the company, said an executive involved with the situation.

"The lender forclosed on the assets," said Jay MacDonald, chairman-CEO of Working Woman Network.

More layoffs expected
Two executives familiar with the situation said the entire staff of Working Woman, which had just published its 25th anniversary issue in September, were being laid off. One of these executives said some staffers at Working Mother were being laid off, and only around 40% of the current staff would make the transition to the new company.

Though the new company has yet to make official what to do with Working Woman -- a sale of the property is still technically possible -- it's widely expected the title will be shuttered.

This outcome came about as the company was unable to find a buyer. Staffers at the magazines gathered at meeting this morning to hear the news.

Mr. MacDonald, who purchased the company in 1996, becomes the second magazine chairman this week to leave under pressure from investors, following Jim Dunning's ouster from Ziff Davis Media on Monday. Working Woman Network CEO Kay Koplovitz left the company earlier this summer.

Ad pages down
Through July, Working Mother's ad pages were down 33.5%, to 241.1, and Working Woman's were down 36.4%, to 205.9, according to Publishers Information Bureau. For the first half of the year, according to Audit Bureau of Circulations data, Working Woman's circulation was up 0.7%, to 636,297. (Working Mother's circulation is not audited by ABC.)

Ms. Evans was not immediately available for comment.

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