His departure raises anew talk of the "MPA Jinx." From the mid-1980s to the early 1990s three company executives--Mark Edmiston, Paul McPherson and Peter Diamandis--lost their publishing CEO jobs before their terms as Magazine Publishers of America chairman expired. Last month, MPA chairman Claeys Bahrenburg resigned from Hearst Magazines. Next in line was the MPA vice chairman, Mr. Pandolfi. Behind him is Conde Nast President Steve Florio, currently the MPA treasurer. Will he want the top slot?
Offered Mr. Florio: "I was having my annual Christmas lunch with S.I. Newhouse Wednesday and he said, `you absolutely cannot accept this job."' Latest rumor is that Mr. Bahrenburg, who is technically still in the industry as a consultant to Hearst Magazines, is campaigning to be allowed to fill out his one-year term.
MPA President Donald Kummerfeld said there is no clear course of action yet, "but we don't intend to leave the position vacant."