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(July 19, 2001) -- John Griffin, 52, will succeed Robert Sims as president of magazine publishing and executive vice president of the National Geographic Society. Mr. Sims, 67, will retire in December 2001.

Mr. Griffin is currently executive vice president and chief operating officer of Hearst Magazines International, New York. He will join National Geographic Sept. 4 and will work with Mr. Sims until the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition.

Mr Griffin will have financial responsibility for the English-language editions of the Society's four magazines: National Geographic, National Geographic Adventure, National Geographic Traveler and National Geographic World. He also will be responsible for the editorial content of Adventure, Traveler and World.

From 1990 to 2000, Mr. Griffin was president of the magazine division of Rodale Press. -- Ann Marie Kerwin

Copyright July 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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