LATEST REVAMP AT RDA AIMS AT MAKEOVER OF MARKETING: ROSSI NOW PUBLISHER OF MONTHLY; HALEY LEADS SPECIAL INTEREST ARM

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The executive lineup at Reader's Digest Association has changed with the frequency of a mood ring. But U.S. Magazine Division President Greg Coleman paints the latest moves as rosy as he works to fulfill Chairman-CEO Thomas O. Ryder's mandate to expand.

Reader's Digest Publisher Bernadette Haley, 45, moves to the new post of VP-group publisher of the Special Interest Magazine Division. She also will be acting publisher of American Health for Women. Marjorie Gladstone, current publisher of the women's health title, is leaving.

Dom Rossi, VP-corporate integrated marketing, succeeds Ms. Haley as Digest publisher. Mr. Rossi, 57, was given the nod largely because of the success of demographic editions and marketing programs he created over the past two years.

"This structure satisfies the needs for today but also allows us to grow," Mr. Coleman said.

In January, Mr. Ryder laid out a future plan for RDA that focused on beefing up its presence in the family, finance, health and mature market areas. Key to his plan is expanding the Special Interest Magazine Division, boosting existing titles and creating new ones.

RDA recently launched a test issue of Reader's Digest Your Family with 500,000 copies on newsstands. If response is favorable, RDA will publish two issues next year and go quarterly in 2001.

RDA stock has climbed about $10 a share since January, approaching $35 a share late on June 11.

SALES REVAMP

Ms. Haley will revamp the Special Interest Magazine Division sales structure so titles can sell pages together more effectively. She also will explore international expansion, acquisitions and line extensions.

Mr. Rossi's marching orders are to refocus Reader's Digest sales efforts on marketing-oriented programs, responsible for most of the monthly's ad page growth. In the first five months of this year, Reader's Digest ad pages rose 9.7% from a year ago, to 445.21, according to Publishers Information Bureau.

Mr. Rossi, who spent 22 years at N.W. Ayer & Partners, will focus on positioning and some "image issues" facing the Digest, Mr. Coleman said. "Nobody really has

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