aug elle.pngAn incendiary story in today’s New York Post has prompted Lagardère Active, the parent company of Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., to issue a staunch denial.

In today’s “Media Ink” column, the Post‘s Keith Kelly said an unnamed source had told him Lagardère was in talks with Hearst Corp. about possibly taking over the U.S. operations of Hachette’s Elle magazine.

“The most likely scenario would be the creation of a joint venture or long-term licensing deal, similar to how Hearst publishes Marie Claire. That magazine is printed in the U.S. through a licensing deal between Hearst and Marie Claire Album, a Paris-based company that’s owned by Lagardère,” Kelly reported, citing his anonymous source.

But this morning, Lagardère issued a statement saying Kelly’s report was all wrong.

“Following an article published today in the New York Post, Lagardère Active…formally denies being in negotiation with Hearst Corp Group,” the statement said. “There are no ongoing talks on a joint venture or licensing agreement with Hearst Corp Group regarding Elle magazine in the US.”

If that’s the truth, how did Kelly manage to get things so wrong?

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