VISCARDI JOHNSTON REJOINS CONDE NAST

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In the 10th publisher change at Conde Nast Publications since Steve Florio became president a year ago, Catherine Viscardi Johnston was named publisher of Mademoiselle, succeeding Julie Lewit-Nirenberg, who becomes director of special pro jects at the parent.

Though not of the bombshell proportions of last March's announcement that brought back exiled Vanity Fair Publisher Ron Galotti to the Conde Nast fold, there was a sense of deja vu about the latest appointment-as well as a link to Vanity Fair.

Ms. Viscardi Johnston, formerly publisher of News Corp.'s Mirabella, is married to Doug Johnston, publisher of Rx Remedy. He was Vanity Fair's publisher until Mr. Galotti's appointment, and left shortly thereafter.

Ms. Viscardi Johnston is rumored to have been lured back with a $500,000 compensation package. She declined comment on the amount, but said last week, "It's a tough moment to leave Mirabella but I'm looking forward to my new job. I start on Valentine's Day."

Ms. Lewit-Nirenberg said, "This is not a shock. It is not a surprise. I feel I've given my all to Mademoiselle."

The title has had three editors in chief in three years; last year's ad pages fell 24.7% to 960.2, the first time in more than a decade it was below 1,000. Ms. Lewit-Nirenberg said the magazine has rebounded in the first quarter of '95.

Ms. Viscardi Johnston's earlier stops at Conde Nast include House & Garden, GQ and Self before she left in 1991. She was at Mirabella less than a year before jumping back to Conde Nast.

A News Corp. spokeswoman said a new Mirabella publisher is expected to be named this week.

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