GRUNER & JAHR CMO LEAVES AFTER JOB IS ELIMINATED

Cindy Spengler Was Target of Rosie O'Donnell Cancer Insult

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Cindy Spengler, the marketing chief at Gruner & Jahr USA Publishing who was in the middle of the drama that was the Rosie O'Donnell trial, is leaving the company after her position was eliminated, the publisher said.

Cindy Spengler was brought in by former

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President-CEO Dan Brewster in August 2001. She'd formerly been publisher of Hearst Magazines' House Beautiful and Victoria.

Like Mr. Brewster, Ms. Spengler was ensnared in the fallout from last fall's courtroom battle between G&J and its former business partner, entertainer Rosie O'Donnell. She faced personal issues while on the stand, breaking down after testifying Ms. O'Donnell said, "Do you know what happens to people who lie? They get sick, and they get cancer." Ms. Spengler is a breast cancer survivor.

Since the trial, G&J has been embroiled in controversy following the news that the company overstated its newsstand sales.

Former circulation head Diane Potter left the company shortly after the trial. Mr. Brewster was fired last month by his boss Axel Ganz, who is now the interim CEO and G&J USA. Ms. Spengler, who had the unenviable position of communicating with top marketers outraged by G&J's repeated circulation overstatements, was informed yesterday her position was eliminated.

Ms. Spengler and a G&J spokeswoman declined to comment on the matter.

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