Pecker on Whether Bonnie Fuller was Money Well Spent

040331_star_hmed_3p.hmedium.jpgThis morning FishbowlNY attended a Magazine Publishers of America breakfast, which featured AMI head David Pecker speaking about the future of the magazine industry and new suggestions for cost-cutting measures. Of course what we really wanted to hear about was Bonnie Fuller, and so were very appreciative (though the suit-clad audience seemed somewhat less so) when Portfolio’s Jeff Bercovici jumped right in to the Q&A to ask Pecker whether he felt that the $10 million he’d paid to Fuller was money well spent?

Pecker, who assured the crowd it was a good question, did an equally good job of dancing around any sort of direct answer.

I think you take away anything to do from her salary base just for what she has accomplished…when you take a look what Bonnie has done with the book over the years I can’t think of anyone I know who’s more capable and worth more dollars than her to create shareholder value for that magazine.

He went on to mention that Candace Trunzo had taken over as editor in chief and that the magazine was
More successful today than when Bonnie has run it over the last four years…It runs on its own. You just need the right captain or admiral to steer it.

So yeah, sounds like a yes, sort of, then again maybe not so much. Anyway, considering Pecker had just spent the hour talking about magazine branding and product placement in articles as source of revenue for an industry feeling the pains of the current economic downturn, one wonders whether Fuller wasn’t some sort of seven figure branding event of her own that had merely run its course.