G&J, TV's Rosie O'Donnell team to relaunch 'McCall's'

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Actress/talk show host Rosie O'Donnell and Gruner & Jahr USA Publishing said McCall's will be relaunched as Rosie's McCall's next spring. "McCall's is a magazine my mom used to read," said Ms. O'Donnell at a press conference. She promised the new McCall's would "talk a lot about social issues," such as gun control, that traditional women's magazines "don't address." Rosie's McCall's will be a joint venture between McCall's publisher Gruner & Jahr and Ms. O'Donnell's Kidro Productions. Ms. O'Donnell said her company was contributing "significant" though unspecified funds to the venture. She said her magazine will be less spiritual than Oprah Winfrey's O the Oprah Magazine and "more real crafty" than Martha Stewart Living. She said she will appear on the first cover, though she would not be on the cover every month.

Ms. O'Donnell, who will serve as editorial director, said she planned to keep McCall's current staff intact and expected to be at the office every day, though commitments to her talk show and children would likely limit her hours to a noon to 6 p.m. workday. She also said that her talk-show contract expired in January, and that she expected being a magazine editor instead of TV talk show host would bring much more "privacy" to her life. An editor in chief for the new title was not immediately named.

Design issues remain uncertain, but Ms. O'Donnell promised the "McCall's" name would remain more prominent on the cover than "Rosie's." McCall's has long been a laggard among the Seven Sisters women's magazines, and through October its ad pages had declined 10.8% from 1999 levels.

Sally Koslow, the longtime McCall's editor who was recently named corporate editor of new business development, will not have any involvement in Rosie's McCall's.

Copyright November 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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