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Time Inc. shutters three magazines

AOL Time Warner's Time Inc. division, publisher of more than 150 titles, now has three less. On, the monthly title formerly known as Time Digital that became America Online's conduit to its customers in March, was one of the casualties, along with 10 times-a-year Family Life, under its Parenting Group, and weekly Asiaweek, founded in 1975. Time Inc. announced it will also downsize and decentralize its Photo Lab and the Time Inc. Picture Collection.

Brill enlisted to write `Newsweek' column

Steven Brill, chairman-CEO of Brill Media Holdings, will have a new job in the new year, as a Newsweek columnist. As a contributing editor, Mr. Brill will write on the legal, business and lobbying controversies stemming from the Sept. 11 attacks. His column, "Homefronts," will not have a set schedule but will appear as news events unfold that would make it natural for Mr. Brill to weigh in on a topic, said a Newsweek spokesman. In 1998, Mr. Brill launched Brill's Content, a magazine covering the media business, which became part of a joint venture with Primedia's Media Central. His relationship with Primedia ends Jan. 15.

New York will get fourth daily paper

New York City, home to daily newspapers The New York Times, The New York Post and The New York Daily News, next year will see the rise of The New York Sun. A group of investors-including Toronto-based Hollinger International owner Conrad Black-plans to resurrect a name last seen on newsstands in 1950. The group will reportedly invest $16 million in the launch. Hollinger owns the Chicago Sun-Times, The Jerusalem Post, and London's Daily Telegraph. Former editor of newspaper The Forward Seth Lipsky and Ira Stoll, editor of smartertimes.com, which critiques New York Times articles, are the top editors for the paper, which will appear Monday through Friday.

Rumors swirl around Hearst stake in `Talk'

Talk Media was the subject of talk last week as news reports appeared in New York magazine and the New York Post that partner Hearst Magazines might not stick around. The chatter led Ron Galotti, president and publisher, and Tina Brown, editor in chief and chairman, to hold a companywide meeting to calm staffers. Executives close to all three companies believe talks with other potential investors were held, but that no change in the partnership was imminent. A Talk spokeswoman declined to comment. A Hearst spokeswoman said there has been no change in the status of its partnership with Talk Media and, speaking for Hearst President Cathleen Black, said, "Talk and Miramax have been great partners. Tina has been a great editor. Talk looks great and it will only get better." A spokesperson for Walt Disney Co.'s Miramax said: "Miramax stands completely behind Tina, Ron and [Editorial Director] Maer [Roshon]'s vision and development of Talk. We're pleased with the magazine's increasing revenue and ad sales during this difficult economic climate."

Kmart CEO calls ad cuts `drastic' and a mistake

Kmart CEO Charles C. Conaway on Nov. 27 told Wall Street the retailer's ad cutbacks have proved to be a mistake. Mr. Conaway said Kmart made significant cuts in its Sunday newspaper inserts and other circulars that promoted sale items, dropping ad pages by percentages ranging from from 7.5% in January to 50% in September and October. The cuts were made in part to allocate funds for TV ads and radio efforts for the BlueLight Special branding campaign and for the BlueLight Always price-rollback campaign. Read more: AdAge.com QWIKFind AAM82Q.

Castrol consolidates biz at Ogilvy and MindShare

Castrol motor oil is consolidating its global creative and media business at Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and MindShare Worldwide, both owned by WPP Group. Castrol is owned by BP, a major international client for both. Castrol previously used different agencies around the world, including FCB Worldwide and Springer & Jacoby in Europe (see related story, P. 16). A budget figure was not disclosed.

La-Z-Boy's Wixted, 47, dies of cancer

Kevin R. Wixted, 47, VP-marketing for La-Z-Boy, died Nov. 29, at his home in Northville, Mich., after a battle with cancer. Mr. Wixted joined La-Z-Boy in 1993 as director of advertising and public relations. During his tenure, he directed national advertising, marketing and public relations for the company. "Kevin was a great marketer with terrific strategic vision," said John J. Case, president-La-Z-Boy upholstery group. "He will be deeply missed."

FYI

Gibson Musical Instruments, Nashville, Tenn., tapped three agencies as finalists for its Gibson Piano Ventures (Baldwin brand) account. They are: Omnicom Group's GSD&M, Austin, Texas; Havas Advertising's McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C.; and Lewis Communications, Nashville, Tenn. ... Advanced Micro Devices put its consolidated $25 million to $35 million global account into review. Interpublic Group of Cos.' Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, currently handles AMD's U.S. business; Publicis, London, handles Europe. Consultant Select Resources International, West Hollywood, Calif., said it's uncertain whether the incumbents would participate. ... MindShare laid off employees across all U.S. offices, said executives close to the agency. The total is not known. A MindShare spokeswoman declined to comment.

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