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Blake Gernstetter

Confirmed: RBI Will Retain Variety

variety218.jpg Reed Business Information will retain ownership of Variety, despite recent reports to the contrary. According to Folio:, RBI parent company Reed Elsevier confirmed the news in its 2009 earnings report. The struggling Hollywood trade was rumored to have been quietly put on the block in January.

Earlier this week, the company sold four of its trade publications to Los Angeles-based Canon Communications.

In December 2009, RBI unloaded Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TWICE.

Fishbowl Newsstand: Your Morning At A Glance

Donatella Arpaia’s Home Cooking Helps Launch Revamped iVillage Food Portal

Video: Chef, restaurateur and iVillage Food contributor Donatella Arpaia prepares her quick Sunday ragu at the launch party for

Last night at the Culinary Loft in SoHo, iVillage celebrated the launch of its newly revamped food destination,, with basil-limoncello cocktails, Web site demos, and a veritable Italian feast prepared by New York restaurant fixture and iVillage contributor Donatella Arpaia.

On the heels of September’s entertainment site relaunch, which Lauren Zalaznick, president of NBC Universal‘s Women and Lifestyle Entertainment Networks, says spurred a spike in page views, membership, and message board activity, iVillage hopes to recreate that success with its latest makeover in the Food category.

“Almost three-fourths of all women who are on the Web rely on the Internet for meal planning and healthy eating,” said Zalaznick. “If we fill that gap… that’s how iVillage is going to win.”

Christina Bender
, director of product development for iVillage, acknowledged, “We know competition’s stiff,” citing,, and as rivals. Bender said the new site’s secret weapon will be to “uncover what women are already saying” in the vibrant iVillage community of 20 million unique monthly visitors, bolstered by their unique access to NBC Universal’s “premier content,” which includes Bravo‘s explosively popular “Top Chef” brand.

“This is a community-centric site, not a user-generated site,” Zalaznick said. It’s “a big, rollicking portal that behaves like a series of niches.”

“You have to be able to adapt and keep up with the way women use media,” said chief content officer Angela Matusik, who says the revamp is meant to “modernize the message board” with new tools and ways to contribute to the conversation. Next up to go under the knife? The Astrology channel, followed by Health, Beauty and Family. And stay tuned, Matusik added, for a new iVillage social media community platform set to launch sometime in 2010.

Read on for a breakdown of the site’s features and fabulous food photos:

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More Web Focus: Names Site Director

moredotcom.jpg Jodie Green joins Meredith Corp.‘s More brand as director of its Web site, Lesley Jane Seymour, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, announced the appointment today.

The former vice president of editorial at Waterfront Media, Green will be charged with the overall editorial direction of the site, including developing traffic-building content and strategic partnerships.

In her two decades’ worth of experience, Green has worked for such companies as Rodale, Reader’s Digest and Comcast.

Press release after the jump.

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Breaking: Hachette Shutters Metropolitan Home

methome119.jpgMetropolitan Home‘s December 2009 issue will be its last. Met Home‘s editor-in-chief Donna Warner and her staff will be leaving the company.

Publisher Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. announced it will cease publication of the shelter magazine and focus its energy in the category solely on Elle Decor. President and CEO Alain Lemarchand said, “It is with a feeling of sadness that I make the announcement to close one of our magazines. However, we believe the best strategy in the upscale shelter segment is to boldly focus our resources and investment on Elle Decor, which is the ad-page leader within the U.S. market.”

Metropolitan Home and Elle Decor had comprised HFM U.S.’s Luxury Design Group led by Deborah Burns, who will remain with the company. As a result of the closure, Elle Decor will now become part of the ELLE Group.

Full press release, after the jump.

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Former Cookie Publisher Jumps To Brides in Condé Shakeup

brides105.jpg On the heels of today’s announcement that Condé Nast is shuttering Gourmet, Cookie, Elegant Bride and Modern Bride, the company has named Carolyn Kremins vice president and publisher of Brides, effective immediately. Kremins, who had been publisher of now-bygone parenting mag Cookie, replaces Alison Adler-Matz, who will be leaving the company. According to a statement released by Condé SVP and publisher William Wackermann, Kremins “will assume all publisher responsibilities for Brides as it transitions from six to twelve issues a year,” leaving sister publications Elegant Bride and Modern Bride behind.

More: So What Do You Do, Brides Publisher Alison Adler-Matz?

Full press release, after the jump.

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Lunch: Oscar de la Renta & Carolina Herrera Grab A Pre-Fashion Week Bite


After an apparent scaling back of those late summer vacations, it was a sea of suits at Michael’s today as the money men and moguls hunkered down for serious business between bites of Cobb salad. I doubt any real carbs were consumed, but legendary fashionistas Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera still provided a nice touch of glamour as they quietly broke bread at Table One with their mutual friend, the First Lady of the Dominican Republic, Dr. Margarita Cedeno de Fernandez.

It was interesting to see two of the most elegant people in New York enjoying a civilized lunch when the rest of Seventh Avenue is frantically getting ready for the start of Fashion Week next Thursday. (They were practically the last ones in the dining room.) Oscar is having quite a year: He’ll receive the Superstar Award from The Fashion Group International at this year’s 26th Annual Night of Stars Gala at Cipriani on October 22. Michael Kors and Kenneth Cole are also being honored at the chic soiree. Just imagine the goody bag!

I was lunching today with my longtime pal Carol Brodie who I first met when she was working at Harry Winston to make sure every star that stepped out on the red carpet was dripping in diamonds from the legendary house. Her days as a celebrity wrangler now behind her, Carol is becoming a star in her own right with a new fine jewelry line for HSN, Rarities: Fine Jewelry with Carol Brodie. After the first collection sold out in three hours during its June launch, she’s now busy preparing for the next airing on the shopping network in September. She’s also doing some business consulting for Barnes & Noble (details are very hush-hush), writing a book and developing her own talk show. Where does she find the time?

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera and the First lady of the Dominican Republic, Dr. Margarita Cedeno de Fernandez.

2. Mickey Ateyeh and two business types. Mickey came over to say hello to Carol and me and told us she’s busier than ever since “retiring” from her last gig. At the moment, she’s doing some consulting for Carlos Falchi and looking for “some rich guys from Greenwich” to fund fabulous and fashionable new projects in the pipeline. Between this and that, says Mickey, she’s also enjoying some much delayed and deserved time off. “But I’ve got to make a living!” Indeed…

3. Bonnie Timmerman with David Belafonte (Harry‘s son, in case you were wondering)

4. My lobbyist pal, Suri Kaiser , looking chic in head-to-toe black Chanel, and the indomitable Lillian Vernon.

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World of Warcraft: The Magazine | Bye Bye, Bei Times | Lone Wolff | Alternate Universe

WOW821.jpgFishbowlLA: The popular online role-playing game World of Warcraft is going analog, at least in a supplementary capacity. WOW parent company Blizzard Entertainment has partnered with UK-based Future Publishing to create World of Warcraft, The Magazine.

BayNewser: San Francisco’s Nichi Bei Times, the Japanese American community newspaper that has been publishing since 1946, announced yesterday that it will cease publication as of Sept. 10.

Neiman Journalism Lab: Why did Newser’s traffic fall off a cliff? Michael Wolff titled a typically provocative blog post yesterday, “I’m Proud to Kill the News,” stating that news aggregators understand the Web better than newspaper Web sites. Readers, he said, “come to Newser, rather than The New York Times, probably because they want what we are offering: short articles from many more sources.” Which is fair enough, except that Newser’s traffic has tumbled: Since peaking at 1.6 million people in May, it now stands at 546,000 monthly visitors, according to Quantcast.

Folio: Dan Blank: While many bemoan the changes that are occurring as our culture moves from print to digital media creation and consumption, I wanted to consider the value of digital media if we were experiencing the opposite transition: “What if we were moving from a digital media world to a print media world?”

On the Menu: Hunter Walker’s J-School Confidential

hunterw.jpgToday’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was Hunter Walker, the Gawker writer blogging about his experiences at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism this semester.

Walker shared how the celebrated journalism school responded to his Gawker work and how grad school has already changed his reporting. We also discussed some of the day’s biggest headlines, including: readers’ reactions to the first video-in-print ad, flagging box office performances by A-list movie stars, and Project Runway‘s new online video model.

Click here to listen to the whole show, which was hosted by GalleyCat editor Jason Boog and AgencySpy editor Matt Van Hoven. You can listen to all the past podcasts at Blog Talk Radio or download episodes for free on iTunes.

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We Are Family: Sulzberger-Ochs Grandnephew Joins NYT Newsroom

NYT_08_21_09.jpgThe New York Observer reports that Associated Press reporter Sam Dolnick will join the Metro desk at The New York Times. Oh, and he’s the grandnephew of former NYT publisher Arthur Ochs “Punch” Sulzberger. A Times spokeswoman said Dolnick will start September 14.

After Arthur Gregg Sulzberger (son of Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.) joined the Times staff in February, ‘City Room’ bureau chief Sewell Chan told, “He has been absolutely impressive, gracious, smart as a whip, hardworking, full of energy, full of ideas, and has a great sense of language.” Let’s hope this holds true for the new legacy on the block.