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The recent cutback in Europe of S.I. Newhouse Jr.'s magazine empire now appears to be a preamble to an expansion drive into Latin America and the Far East.

Conde Nast Publications President Steve Florio and Editorial Director James Truman recently made a 10-day fact-finding trip to Argentina and are expected to ink a joint venture to launch a magazine there early next year. Insiders said Mr. Florio has hinted that flagship the traditional entry title in new markets, will also play that role in Latin America.

"We expect to announce something fairly soon," Mr. Florio said last week. "It will be a major expansion into the market."

In Europe, Conde Nast recently shut down Masion & Jardin, Vogue Hommes and Automobiles Classiques, leaving the prestigious Paris Vogue as its only magazine published out of France.

But the company has been expanding in the Far East, where last year it recruited Didier Guerin, then head of Hachette's Australian magazine group, to be president of Conde Nast Asia/Pacific Rim.

Conde Nast has licensing deals to publish Brazilian Vogue and Singapore Vogue, and also owns a subsidiary in Australia. It plans to begin publishing Korean Vogue under a licensing deal next August.

Mr. Florio said that the deals now in final negotiations will be joint ventures-where the company assumes half the financial risks -rather than licensing deals.

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