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(July 16, 2001) SYDNEY -- In what is the latest rationalization in Australia's magazine industry, newcomer publisher Paragon Media has bought one of Murdoch Magazines' foundation titles, home maker monthly Family Circle, for an undisclosed sum.

The move, coming hot on the heels of the closure of Murdoch Magazines' two lifestyle magazines, Live This and Our House, will ease pressure on the publisher's overhead costs.

According to industry observers, Murdoch Magazines is focusing on its core fashion and interactive lifestyle titles such as Marie Claire and Better Homes and Gardens.

The 26-year-old title, originally launched by New York Times Magazines and then bought by Matt Handbury for Murdoch Magazines, will become Paragon Media's flagship title with a circulation of 120,000.

Paragon Media was founded by Ian Brooks, who was, until two months ago, the financial controller of Murdoch Magazines.

Toni Eatts, the former editor of Better Homes and Gardens, will become publisher and editor of Family Circle. -- Andrew Hornery

Copyright July 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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