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EPB sells Bethesda office; NY next?

With the sale of Earle Palmer Brown's Bethesda, Md., office to Havas' Arnold Worldwide Partners, McLean, Va., last week, speculation was rampant that EPB's New York operations will be folded into Arnold McGrath, New York. Lance Mald, EPB's chief creative officer, said, "We're in discussion on a couple of options that should help some of the clients and people in New York." The Panoramic Communications unit is the remaining piece of the 50-year old agency since 50.5% owner PubliGroupe ceased funding in April, spawning a sell off of assets. With the Bethesda sale, four accounts worth $40 million and 30 staffers move to Arnold, and about 10 employees will be laid off. Charlie Jones, president of EPB Bethesda, joins Arnold as exec VP-operations, and Woody Kay, EPB's executive creative director, becomes exec VP-chief creative officer. In New York, EPB has 40 staffers handling four still-active accounts. This past summer, Mary Baglivo CEO, Panoramic joined Arnold McGrath as president. AdAge.com QwikFIND aao11f

Dude, you're getting time off

Dell computer corp. last week said Steven, the company's affable pitchman character and consumer brand icon, will take a break from advertising. Dell unseated Hewlett-Packard Co. to become the No. 1 PC marketer worldwide for the quarter ending Sept. 30, according to International Data Group's IDC. Dell, with its agency Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, Chicago, introduced Steven, played by actor Ben Curtis, two years ago. Steven's clarion call, "Dude, you're getting a Dell," helped Dell advance in the consumer PC market.

Time Inc. shutters `SI for Women'

On the heels of closing Mutual Funds, Time Inc. will shut its eight-times-a-year Sports Illustrated offshoot Sports Illustrated for Women. Its December issue will be its last. Referring to the still-troubled magazine economy, Sports Illustrated President Bruce Hallett attributed the decision to the "investment climate" inside the company and within the magazine world, which he said was "about as bad as it can get." Time will seek to place the title's 45 staffers elsewhere within the company. SI for Women, which was unprofitable, first appeared in 1997 with two test issues, but Time did not publish the title in 1998. It next appeared with four quarterly issues in 1999, and the title launched as an every-other-monthly in March 2000. Through September of this year, its ad pages were 210.3, down 4.9%. The title did not have its readership audited, but the company claimed circulation of about 400,000. AdAge.com QwikFIND aao11l

Marriott ready for some football

Marriott International turns to some of the marquee names in football to give it an advantage in the difficult climate of attracting business travelers. In a new campaign from Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, the hotel marketer uses Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Mike Ditka, Lou Holtz and Jon Gruden. The ads will appear on the three major broadcast networks including "Monday Night Football" on Walt Disney Co.'s ABC, among other places. "We've selected five highly successful, recognizable and motivational coaches and players to engage the business traveler," Deborah Fell, senior VP-marketing strategy, Marriott, said in a statement. A range of Marriott brands from Fairfield Inn to the flagship Marriott properties will be promoted.

120 `Rosie' staffers cut at G&J USA

Gruner & jahr USA Publishing will not launch a new title off Rosie's infrastructure and subscription list anytime soon. A long-awaited meeting last week for Rosie staffers with G&J's human resources department resulted in the layoffs of about 120. A small core group of probably five staffers will remain to work on potential future projects. G&J had trademarked a host of potential names to use for a new general-interest women's title, but thus far none have been appended to any new project. At the meeting, which included Larry Diamond, G&J's chief financial officer, and Geanie Villoman, VP-human resources, executives said initial notions of launching a new magazine in the early part of 2003 was simply not feasible, a person in attendance said. The December issue of Rosie, which hits newsstands Dec. 12, will be its last. AdAge.com QwikFIND aao11a

Earnings improve for newspapers

Newspaper companies reported improved earnings, mainly due to good results at TV stations and easier comparisons to the year-ago period, which included the effects of the Sept. 11 attacks on programming and advertising. Tribune Co. reported net income of $230.2 million, up from a loss of $145.6 million; adjusted for accounting changes in 2001 the loss would have been $91.8 million. The New York Times Co. posted net income of $58.3 million, up 34.7% from $43.8 million in the same period last year, or up 4.9% from $55.6 million after adjusting for the 2001 accounting changes. Knight Ridder posted net income up 1.4% to $56.5 million on revenue of $689 million, down 0.6%. Gannett Co. reported third quarter net income of $265.6 million, up 51.9% from the same period in 2001, when results were affected by accounting changes; factoring out those changes, net income was still up 17%. AdAge.com QwikFIND aao11t

FYI...

Aegis group, parent of media agency Carat, renamed its global network of consolidated research companies Synovate. AdAge.com QwikFIND aao11g...The Advertising Research Foundation announced the resignation of Jim Spaeth last week. Mr. Spaeth, president since 1996, will step down in April to become an entrepreneur. A search for the next president will begin immediately.

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