Conde Nast Poised to Close Mademoiselle Magazine

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NEW YORK — Conde Nast Publications Inc. is shuttering its venerable Mademoiselle magazine after a disappointing revamp and in light of the deteriorating advertising environment, people familiar with the situation told The Wall Street Journal.

An official announcement is expected today. A spokeswoman for Conde Nast couldn’t be reached for comment.

The demise of Mademoiselle is the latest in a series of closures at Conde Nast, a unit of the Newhouse family’s Advance Publications Inc., which has moved during the past two years to pare unprofitable operations. Last year, the company closed Women’s Sports & Fitness and Details. Details was given to another Advance magazine unit, Fairchild Publications, and relaunched.

Founded in 1935, Mademoiselle, a fashion and beauty title aimed at women in their 20s, long has been an important property in Conde Nast’s stable of glossy lifestyle magazines, along with Glamour and Vogue. Although rumors have been swirling for months about the magazine’s future, the company’s drastic step probably will surprise many in the industry.

In what has been a dreadful year for publishers, a number of titles have succumbed to the advertising downturn that accompanied the slowing economy. Other recent closures include Industry Standard and Individual Investor.
After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, some of the nation’s largest advertisers pulled back further on marketing, not wanting to appear insensitive and anticipating a collapse in consumer confidence. Publishing executives expect more magazines to fold as a result.

It isn’t clear whether the timing of Conde Nast’s decision was related to the attacks. Regardless, closing the 1.1 million-circulation monthly would be an easy way to cut costs in preparation for what is likely to be a difficult fourth quarter. Conde Nast’s Wired magazine has been hurt by the slowdown in technology advertising, and Conde Nast Traveler, among other titles, probably will suffer from decisions by airlines and others in the travel industry to cut advertising.

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