'Vitals' for Men and Women Fails to Flourish

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com)--The Fairchild division of Conde Nast Publications is shuttering both Vitals Man and Vitals Woman, the lifestyle and shopping titles that proved in the end to lack enough vitality among readers or advertisers.

"Editor in chief Joe Zee’s editorial vision led to a unique editorial product that was well respected by both readers and advertisers,” said Mary G. Berner, president of Fairchild Publications. “However, it has fallen short of our expectations, and as such, we have decided not to make the long-term investment it would have required.”

Breathing room
Fairchild introduced Vitals Man in August 2004. It went on to cover grooming products, the best outdoor speakers and celebrities like Heath Ledger. Last February the company followed up with Vitals Woman.

Shutting down the magazines frees some breathing room in the crowded shopping space, which includes Conde Nast’s own Lucky and Cargo.

A Fairchild spokeswoman said the decision was made well before the reorganization at Advance Publications, the parent of Conde Nast and Fairchild, which was announced Sept. 26. The reorganization consolidated all Advance magazines units, including Fairchild Publications and Golf Digest Cos., as divisions of Conde Nast.

New posts
From January through August of this year, Vitals Man carried 84.5 advertising pages, while Vitals Woman carried 115 ad pages, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Fairchild guaranteed advertisers in either title a controlled circulation of 200,000.

Most of Vitals’ 33 staffers will be able to be placed in new posts at Fairchild or other Conde Nast Publications divisions, Ms. Berner said. Before Mr. Zee helped found Vitals, Mr. Zee had been fashion director of W magazine. He will remain at Fairchild to work on new projects.

The last issue of Vitals, which alternated between publishing Vitals Man and Vitals Woman, will be the winter issue of Vitals Woman. The cover will feature Julia Roberts.

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