On a recent Tuesday morning a young Brit named Mandi Norwood took an advance copy of her magazine to the Times Square office of Si Newhouse, propped it up on an easel and walked her boss through the December issue of Mademoiselle. Pretty intimidating? I asked. "You don't bog down. If I don't get him in about 20 seconds on a single page, I've lost him and I've also lost my audience. If Si chuckles at something, the readers will laugh out loud." Ms. Norwood, who'd been editor of U.K. Cosmo was hired in March to resuscitate "Millie," as they call it (Publisher Lori Burgess says they'll be down 18% in pages this year). Ms. Norwood put out her first issue in August but calls December's issue her first very own. Mandi's got a Newcastle accent, dark hair cut very short, two daughters, 8 and 4, who "miss their mates" in England, a husband who stays home to care for the kids and ambition that might daunt a Bonnie Fuller. Mandi got her start with journalism classes and a job on a local paper. She moved on to a junior mag in London, briefly took fashion courses ("I made pencil cases for three weeks"), worked up the Fleet Street ladder ("was about to be named chief sub but I wanted to write"). So she did a book, then, "at 24 I decided I wanted to be editor in chief at 25." She was. Ran Looks for a year, then a minor Hearst book, then five years at Cosmo, where, she says, she read "Millie" religiously. Did it speak to her? "No, not recently, and I had concerns it wasn't speaking to any category of women and wasn't a good deal of fun." Who are her readers today? "Young women with jobs, college but no children yet, $51,000 household income and looking better than ever." The contents: "No drugs, no kitchen cleaners, no cheap fashion." Mag PR says, "The `Me Years' positioning is the engine behind all of Mandi's changes." Focus group reaction: "It's smarter and has more attitude"; media director: "Oh, my God."
Should GQ Publisher Tom Florio really be power-lunching at the Four Seasons in Manhattan without a tie? One day after encountering Tom, I saw a tieless bumpkin lunching with Larry and Bob Tisch, while across the room, another churl wore a baseball cap. Why didn't any of this come up in "the debates?"
Business Week's launched its third season of "captains of industry" one-on-one interviews at Manhattan's 92nd St. Y. They kicked off with BW Editor Steve Shepard quizzing Gerry Levin of Time Warner. Upcoming: Larry Ellison, Michael Dell, Jeff Bezos.
Will Rogers promoted to eastern sales director in New York by Southern Accents.
George has a new ad director, Jeff Greif, who'd been at GQ.
Departures (an American Express Publishing Corp. mag) promoted Brooke Laffan to Eastern ad sales director.
With that sale of the Times Mirror mags, hope they really will let Jason Klein continue to run them. Good man.