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HAEGELE LOOKS TO REVIVAL AT "GOOD HOUSEKEEPING": HEARST'S BLACK TAPS LONGTIME ALLY AS PART OF A 3-WAY SHUFFLE AMONG ITS TITLES

By Published on .

In tapping Patricia Haegele as publisher of Good Housekeeping, Hearst Magazines President Cathleen Black turned to a longtime ally to revive the company's second most profitable title.

The hiring was part of a three-way publisher shuffle last week that bumped longtime GH Senior VP-Publisher Alan Waxenberg, 61, to Exec VP-Publisher at the much smaller Victoria. He replaces Cindy Sperling Spengler, who in turn succeeds Jeffrey Burch as publisher of House Beautiful. Mr. Burch, 43, is leaving the company.

The moves were the most dramatic by Ms. Black since jumping to Hearst nearly a year ago.

CLOSE TIES

Ms. Haegele, 45, will leave her job as president-general manager of the Newspaper National Network, an affiliate of the Newspaper Association of America. Ms. Black was NAA president before joining Hearst, and worked with Ms. Haegele. The executives earlier worked together at USA Today.

The semipublic search for a successor to Mr. Waxenberg had dragged on for months. As recently as last month, Ms. Haegele told Advertising Age she wasn't a candidate for the job, which comes with a compensation package estimated at $500,000.

WORK CUT OUT FOR HER

Ms. Haegele will have her work cut out for her. Although it's believed to be second only to Cosmopolitan as a moneymaker for Hearst Magazines, the 5 million-circulation monthly suffered when key advertisers such as Kraft Foods, Campbell Soup Co. and Helene Curtis Industries pulled back because of a controversial rate program introduced last year.

Through October, GH's ad pages were down 26.8% from the same period in 1995. A former category leader, it skidded to sixth place in the fiercely competitive Seven Sisters field, topping only perennial cellar dweller McCall's.

Ms. Haegele "will have to re-establish the marketing thrust fast, and boldly, for Good Housekeeping," said Steven Greenberger, VP-director of print media at Grey Advertising, New York.

"Good Housekeeping is a fabulous brand," Ms. Haegele said. "We want to marry our brand with brands from advertisers such as Procter & Gamble and Kraft Foods and customize programs for them. We don't want to be just a CPM buy in a seven-book field."

RECOVERY UNDER WAY

Ms. Black said GH's recovery is already under way. Kraft committed to run 40 ad pages next year, and Chrysler/Plymouth is buying into the book for the first time with ads for Plymouth Voyager.

The new publishers of Victoria and House Beautiful also face challenges. The magazines' ad pages declined 8.9% and 13.3%, respectively, through October.

Still, departing House Beautiful Publisher Mr. Burch said he was "highly surprised" by the moves and has no immediate plans.

In tapping Patricia Haegele as publisher of Good Housekeeping, Hearst Magazines President Cathleen Black turned to a longtime ally to revive the company's second most profitable title.

The hiring was part of a three-way publisher shuffle last week that bumped longtime GH Senior VP-Publisher Alan Waxenberg, 61, to Exec VP-Publisher at the much smaller Victoria. He replaces Cindy Sperling Spengler, who in turn succeeds Jeffrey Burch as publisher of House Beautiful. Mr. Burch, 43, is leaving the company.

The moves were the most dramatic by Ms. Black since jumping to Hearst nearly a year ago.

Ms. Haegele, 45, will leave her job as president and general manager of the Newspaper National Network, an affiliate of the Newspaper Association of America. Ms. Black was NAA president before joining Hearst, and worked closely with Ms. Haegele. The executives earlier worked together at USA Today.

The semipublic search for a successor to Mr. Waxenberg had dragged on for months. As recently as last month, Ms. Haegele told Advertising Age she wasn't a candidate for the job, which comes with a compensation package estimated at $500,000.

Ms. Haegele will have her work cut out for her. Although it's believed to be second only to Cosmopolitan as a moneymaker for Hearst Magazines, the 5 million-circulation monthly suffered when key advertisers such as Kraft Foods, Campbell Soup Co. and Helene Curtis Inc. pulled back because of a controversial rate program introduced last year.

Through October, GH's ad pages were down 26.8% from the same period in 1995. A former category leader, it skidded to sixth place in the fiercely competitive Seven Sisters field, topping only perennial cellar dweller McCall's.

Ms. Haegele "will have to re-establish the marketing thrust fast, and boldly, for Good Housekeeping," said Steven Greenberger, VP-director of print media at Grey Advertising, New York.

"Good Housekeeping is a fabulous brand," Ms. Haegele said. "We want to marry our brand with brands from advertisers such as Procter & Gamble and Kraft Foods and customize programs for them. We don't want to be just a CPM buy in a seven book field."

She noted that even in a difficult year, GH Editor in Chief Ellen Levine sparked an 8% rise in single-copy sales, to 1.2 million.

Ms. Black said GH's recovery is already under way. Kraft committed to run 40 ad pages in the magazine next year, and Chrysler Corp.'s Chrysler-Plymouth division is buying into the book for the first time with ads for Plymouth Voyager.

The new publishers of Victoria and House Beautiful also face challenges. The magazines' ad pages declined 8.9% and 13.3%, respectively, through October. Still, departing House Beautiful Publisher Mr. Burch said he was "highly surprised" by the moves and has no immediate plans.

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