Ron Galotti Replaced by Peter King Hunsinger

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Ron Galotti, publisher of Conde Nast Publications' GQ magazine, left the company abruptly today and was replaced by Peter King Hunsinger, president of the Conde Nast Bridal Group.

Mr. Galotti's third turn at Conde Nast Publications ended when top management decided his brash style of management was no longer working, and as Mr. Galotti grew increasingly restless with his publisher's role.

President of 'Talk'
Mr. Galotti had only returned to

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Conde Nast in March 2002, after the demise of Talk magazine, the joint venture by Hearst Magazines and Miramax which he had left Conde Nast for in 1999 to be its president. Mr. Galotti was publisher of Vanity Fair when Tina Brown, the editorial force behind Talk, was editor of that monthly Conde Nast title. After he left the Vanity Fair job in 1993, he was briefly publisher of Hearst Magazines' Esquire, before returning to Conde Nast to head up Vogue in 1994.

During his career at Conde Nast, he also served as publisher of Mademoiselle and was publisher for the launch of Conde Nast Traveler.

Promised a bigger role
Since his return last year, the GQ sales staff had a high rate of turnover, insiders said, while others noted he was unhappy being just a publisher after his stint at Talk, where he was president and had operating control of the entire business operation. At Conde Nast, publishers operate mainly as head of ad sales only. Mr. Galotti, 53, had been promised that he would be considered for a more corporate job, and insiders said he was impatient when it didn't materialize.

"He wanted something bigger," said one Conde Nast staffer. Maurie Perl, a Conde Nast spokeswoman, said Mr. Galotti wanted to run a multi-title division and that was the reason he left.

"This was Ron's decision," said Ms. Perl said. In a statement, President-CEO Steve Florio said he asked Mr. Galotti to stay, and added "Ron is an extraordinary talent. As my friend and colleague, I wish him well." Mr. Galotti could not be reached for comment.

Quick departure
But Mr. Galotti's decision was precipitated by a call from the head office to return from a sales trip to the San Francisco meeting with Levi Strauss & Co. last week and return immediately to New York, according to Conde Nast insiders. Fresh off a red-eye flight from the West Coast, he met with Mr. Florio at 9:30 a.m. today and afterward met with his staff to announce his departure.

GQ ad pages have been flat for the year, down 1% through June, according to Publishers Information Bureau figures. One insider doesn't believe ad page performance, though soft, was not the main issue in Mr. Galotti's dismissal, saying, "In this environment, his ad pages were fine." The insider went on to say that the "corporate guys asked for best behavior Ron, and he said he would ... but he couldn't keep it up."

Mr. Galotti's departure follows the sudden death last month of Art Cooper, GQ's editor for two decades, shortly after he retired and was replaced by Jim Nelson.

Hunsinger meets staff
Mr. Hunsinger -- a former publisher of Vanity Fair, Gourmet and Architectural Digest -- said he is first concentrating on familiarizing himself with the magazine. In the first day after his sudden appointment, he had meetings with Mr. Nelson and with the GQ sales staff. He said it's too soon to say if there will be changes under his management and anticipated it will take a couple of issues before Mr. Nelson puts his stamp in the magazine.

"Our job is crafting his vision in terms of how to market the magazine," Mr. Hunsinger said.

Mr. Hunsiger was replaced at the Bridal Group by Nina Lawrence, who will also continue as publisher of Bride's and Modern Bride, the unit's flagship titles.

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