CHAIRS SHIFT AT CONDE NAST, HACHETTE: SEVEN TITLES GET NEW PUBLISHERS; 3 AFTER 1 RESIGNATION

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Two of the nation's largest magazine groups played rounds of musical chairs last week, leaving new publishers at seven titles.

Conde Nast Publications appointed executives to the top business posts at GQ, Conde Nast Traveler and Conde Nast House & Garden, while Hachette Filipacchi Magazines installed publishers at Elle Decor, Home, Metropolitan Home and Mirabella.

At privately held Conde Nast, the departure of GQ Publisher Jack Laschever, 38, set in motion a series of changes. He resigned, after just nine months in the post, due to health problems after a short disability leave that started in early March.

WELL-TRAVELED TOM FLORIO

Thomas A. Florio, VP-publisher of Conde Nast Traveler, was named to succeed Mr. Laschever. Last May, Mr. Florio-the brother of Conde Nast President-CEO Steven T. Florio-moved from president of The New Yorker to Traveler, where he also served as publisher from 1990 to 1994.

When he returned to Conde Nast Traveler last year, Thomas Florio, 42, displaced Publisher Lisa Henrique Hughes, 39, who moved to House & Garden. She will return to Traveler, at the request of Editor in Chief Tom Wallace. Said Ms. Hughes: "All the Conde Nast titles are such great brands, what's the downside of being moved?"

Brenda Saget, 43, associate publisher of The New Yorker since June 1998, will become publisher of House & Garden. She learned she was getting the job while on out-of-town sales calls for The New Yorker. Conde Nast Exec VP Catherine Viscardi Johnston "tracked me down in Florida," said Ms. Saget, who will be in her first publisher position.

Steven Florio, at home recovering from heart surgery, OK'd the changes last week in a meeting with Conde Nast Exec VPs Chuck Townsend and Ms. Johnston.

"Brenda [Saget] moving to House & Garden was Cathy [Johnston's] idea and I approved. It's a smart move and it works for everyone," said Steven Florio.

Thomas Florio, who reports to Ms. Johnston at Traveler, will continue to do so at GQ, one of the company's largest and most profitable titles.

At Hachette, which is still weighing candidates to succeed David Pecker as CEO, four new publishers were named last week.

VACANT POSTS FILLED

John Miller, senior VP-group publisher of the Home Group, promoted the associate publishers at Elle Decor, Home and Metropolitan Home to the vacant posts of publisher. All three report to Mr. Miller, who said he will be spending more time on acquisitions and developing spinoff businesses.

"We'll be aggressively expanding the division," Mr. Miller said.

The executives promoted to publisher are: Ed Abramson, 55, at Home; Anne Triece, 41, at Metropolitan Home, and Tracy Gavant, 34, at Elle Decor.

Separately, Donna Halperin, 41, was named VP-publisher of Mirabella, a post vacated last month by Steven Binder, who moved to Conde Nast's Allure as associate publisher. Ms. Halperin has been VP-publisher of Hachette's Woman's

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