Christina Kelly Leaves as Publication Is Repositioned

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Christina Kelly, editor in chief of Gruner & Jahr's teen title YM, resigned today, according to company insiders.

Her resignation comes as G&J executives struggle to reposition YM in a crowded and rapidly changing teen magazine market.

Newsstand, ad sales down
For the last half of 2003, YM's newsstand sales fell 5.6%. For full-year 2003, YM's ad pages declined 2.6%. The publication also reduced its rate base from 2.2 million to 2 million last fall.

Previously, audits conducted by the Audit Bureau of Circulations discovered that YM significantly overstated newsstand sales in two different six-month reporting periods.

For the last six months of 2003, both Hearst's Seventeen and Time Inc.'s Teen People also missed their rate base.

A message left on the voice mail belonging to Ms. Kelly's assistant was not immediately returned.

A G&J spokeswoman initially declined to comment, but later confirmed Ms. Kelly's resignation and said the company would search for her successor.

G&J executive changes
Ms. Kelly's departure is the third executive change this week at G&J. On Feb. 17 Cindy Spengler, chief marketing officer, was told her position was being eliminated. The day before, Cindy Still was named executive vice president for consumer marketing. She replaced Diane Potter, G&J's former senior vice president of consumer marketing.

Ms. Potter left the company shortly after the conclusion of the G&J and Rosie O'Donnell trial, during which Ms. Potter admitted in her testimony that the company knowingly submitted inflated newsstand sales figures to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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