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Posts Tagged ‘Susan Plagemann’

Outlander Author Diana Gabaldon on Writing Best Sellers and Playing Nice With Hollywood

LunchAtMichaelsJudging by the decibel level at Michael’s today the media mavens and swells had plenty to talk about between bites of their Korean tacos (delish!) and Cobb salads. There’s always a flurry of activity on the last Wednesday in July before most of the last remaining power lunchers depart for their much-needed vacations in August. You can only be fabulous (or pretend to be) for so long before you have to regroup and refuel.

For us, July isn’t going out with a whisper but rather with a bang as I had one of the most fascinating Michael’s lunches in eons with best-selling author Diana Gabaldon, whose wildly popular Outlander novels rocket right to the top spot on The New York Times best-seller list as soon as they’re published. She has sold a head-spinning 25 million books that have been translated into 24 languages. The mind reels. Her most recent, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (how’s that for a title?) came out in June, the same week Hillary Clinton‘s book did. I guess you know whose publisher had a better week. I was “the last stop” on Diana’s magical mystical media tour, which has included an SRO appearance at Comic-Con, a sell-out conversation at the 92nd Street Y and, just this morning, an appearance on CBS This Morning with the two lead actors of the new original series based on the books that premieres August 9 on Starz.

Diana Gabaldon and Diane Clehane.

Diana Gabaldon and Diane Clehane

It’s always a bit of a crapshoot sitting down with someone I’ve never met to make conversation over lunch with the expressed purpose of learning as much as I can about my companion in about an hour while fielding the numerous “newsflashes” that come courtesy of the diners around the room. I was grateful I got a good night’s sleep last night because simply put, Diana is a force of nature. I could barely keep up as she recounted the story of how she decided “to write a book just to learn what it took to do it; I did it for practice” and how her pragmatic approach to novel writing (which hasn’t changed much, by the way) has catapulted her to international stardom.

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Vogue Posts Ad Page Gain for Vital September Issue

For fashion magazines, the September issue is extremely important. People need to know what to buy for the upcoming holiday season because they all need new things that will become old within months, and advertisers are very eager to tell them.

According to Adweek, Vogue’s September issue will have plenty to offer. The magazine closed with 584 ad pages, an increase of 50 pages over last year’s issue. Susan Plagemann, Vogue’s Publisher, attributed the gain to fashion and beauty advertising increases and healthy newsstand sales. “The brand’s relevance is at an all-time high,” she said.

Condé Nast Honors Top Executives

Last evening at Florida’s Ocean Reef Club Condé Nast CEO Charles Townsend hosted an award ceremony to honor the company’s outstanding performers.  Townsend handed out a lot of hardware Condé’s magazine’s had reason to celebrate.

Wired’s Howard Mittman was named Publisher of the Year and the magazine’s entire business staff was lauded for 24 percent ad page growth.

Vogue publisher Susan Plagemann and her sales team won the Peak Performance Award for a 16 percent rise in ad pages.

Rick Levine, Condé Nast’s SVP of editorial operations, took home the Corporate Executive of the Year Award for his work in the digital arena.

Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Graydon Carter and publisher Edward Menicheschi were recognized for spearheading the company’s largest profit gain by any magazine last year

Peggy Siegal, Pamela Fiori & the Winner of Lunch with Laurel

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— DIANE CLEHANE

While the regulars in the dining room at Michael’s chatted about their plans for the upcoming holiday weekend, it seemed only fitting that my lunch today was with Laurie Haspel Aronson, president of Haspel, the quintessential American company responsible for the creation of the classic seersucker suit. Laurie tells me it was the brainchild of her great grandfather, Joseph Haspel, who wanted to turn the fabric once favored by laborers for its cool comfort into a natty summertime staple of bankers and businessman everywhere.

Haspel, which was founded back in 1909, has dressed some pretty iconic fellows including Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird. Jimmy Smits, who wore Haspel during his stint on The West Wing, will be sporting seersucker this weekend when he hosts PBS’ July 4th special and on his upcoming series Outlaw that premieres this fall.

Laurie explains how the venerable label remains a current fashion favorite (Russell Brand is a fan) but hasn’t alienated its old school clientele this way: “The great thing about it is it can be worn by everyone and looks good on everybody. It takes on the personality of the wearer.” Indeed.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Former Chanel president Arie Kopelman and his wife Coco with Pamela Fiori (in Chanel) and a distinguished looking gent we didn’t recognize.

2. A very blonde Peggy Siegal and a handsome young fellow.

3. Scribe Phoebe Eaton, looking very glam

4. Abernathy & MacGregor’s Jim Abernathy

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Slowly But Surely, Ad Pages Start to Climb For Women’s Mags

108861_whitney-houst-on-the-cover-of-instyle-january-2010.jpgFinally some good news: after two years of plummeting ad sales and scarce revenue for magazines, signs are pointing to money flowing back into print. Time Inc.one of the publishers hit hardest during the great magazine recession of the last few years — has seen its InStyle title jump 33.5 percent in ad pages for their March issue when compared to the same issue in 2009.

Meanwhile, Hearst‘s Marie Claire jumped 22.8 percent in their first quarter, and as we mentioned last week, Rodale‘s Prevention saw a 31 percent increase in ad pages for their March edition. Call it new blood — InStyle‘s recent hire of publisher Connie Anne Phillips last year, and Susan Plagemann from Marie Claire who was credited for the first quarter success (though she has now jumped to Vogue, which is also seeing ad increases) — or call it the recovery we’ve all been waiting for, but hopefully the trend of advertisers returning to magazines will continue. At least until we get this whole “selling ads on the Internet” thing figured out.

Read More: Women’s Beauty/Fashion ‘Spring Preview’: InStyle is Up Strongly –minOnline

Previously: Prevention Sees Ad Pages, Revenue Climb In March, Surveying The Damage Of Yesterday’s Time Inc. Cuts

Marie Claire Publisher Proves Dreams Do Come True

prar01_cardone212-1.jpgWhen Gourmet folded nearly four months ago, its staff, including publisher Nancy Berger Cardone, found themselves adrift among a sea of unemployed media workers.

Not long after, Cardone sat down for lunch with Hearst Magazine’s chief marketing officer, Michael Clinton. Although he had no job to offer her, Clinton asked Cardone which Hearst title she would work for if she had her pick. Her answer: Marie Claire.

“Maybe it was wishful thinking,” Cardone said last night, as Clinton and Hearst president Cathie Black celebrated Cardone’s appointment as the latest publisher of the fashion magazine in a small gathering on the 44th floor of the Hearst building. As luck would have it, not long after her lunch date with Clinton, Marie Claire‘s publisher Susan Plagemann departed for Vogue, joining the very company, Condé Nast, that had just cast Cardone aside. Clinton acted fast, and Cardone was installed as publisher there by December 7.

Still, Cardone had to suffer through a few weeks of unemployment, and she confessed to us that she frequently trolled the job boards at mediabistro.com. To paraphrase Us Weekly: publishers, they’re just like us!

Also last night, after a heartfelt welcome of Cardone to the Hearst family, Black, wearing a black shift dress with a fur wrapped around her shoulders, said, “If it seems like I’m overdressed, I am. I’m going to Lady Gaga!”

Previously: Gourmet Publisher Finds A Home At Marie Claire

FishbowlNY’s 2009 Lists: The Year’s Biggest Moves In Media

door.jpgThis year — full of flux and uncertainty about where the media is heading — has resulted in a vast number of job changes and departures across all matter of media companies and publications. In almost every field of journalism, big names have either been fired, promoted, retired, or simply moved on to more lucrative positions. Here, we take a look back at the biggest industry shakeups of 2009.

The Biggest Move in Magazines: Stephen Adler leaving BusinessWeek.
When editor Stephen Adler announced his departure from BusinessWeek this October following the magazine’s sale to Bloomberg LP, he wasn’t just making a statement, he was starting a trend. Soon he was followed by some of his former colleagues, like John Byrne and BusinessWeek‘s president Keith Fox, who decided to stay with magazine’s original parent, McGraw-Hill. (Not to mention all of those who involuntarily left the pub not long after.) It takes a lot of chutzpah to up and quit your editor gig in the middle of this turbulent media landscape, it takes even more to get your coworkers to come with you. Fortunately for Adler, he’s already landed another gig at Thomson Reuters.

Runners Up: Time.com managing editor Josh Tyrangiel comes on board as editor at Businessweek; Marie Claire‘s publisher Susan Plagemann joins Vogue; Nancy Berger Cardone of shuttered Gourmet takes Plagemann’s spot at Marie Claire; Janice Min leaves Us Weekly; Mariette DiChristina becomes Scientific American‘s first female editor-in-chief.

More after the jump

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Gourmet Publisher Finds A Home At Marie Claire

prar01_cardone212-1.jpgNancy Berger Cardone, formerly the publisher of the much-missed Gourmet, has been named vice president and publisher of Hearst‘s Marie Claire. She replaces Susan Plagemann, who left the women’s magazine last month to take on the role of publisher at Vogue, which is owned by Cardone’s former employer, Condé Nast.

The move marks a return to women’s magazine for Cardone, who served as publisher at Condé-owned Allure for eight years before making the move to Gourmet in 2008. During her short time at the epicurean mag, Cardone helped launch the social networking site GourmetGuestList.com and exec produced the magazine’s PBS series, “Gourmet’s Adventures With Ruth.” She will no doubt be looked to at Marie Claire to further brand expansion across many platforms, like the magazine’s current partnership with “Project Runway.”

Full release after the jump

Previously: Plagemann Jumps To Vogue, One Last Gourmet Party

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Marie Claire Publisher Plagemann Jumps To Vogue, Florio’s Role Expanded

vogue cover.jpgThe latest Condé Nast restructuring news comes to the top of one of the company’s highest profile pubs.

Susan Plagemann, the publisher at Hearst’s Marie Claire since 2004, has been named the newest publisher at Vogue, effective January 4.

Although she started her career at Condé Nast in the advertising department at Mademoiselle, Plagemann has spent most of her career at Hearst, working for Esquire, Cosmopolitan, the now-defunct Lifetime and then Marie Claire.

Plagemann will report to Thomas Florio, who formerly held the role of publisher at Vogue. His role has now been expanded to oversee Vogue and Teen Vogue, Bon Appétit and Condé Nast Traveler.

As The New York Observer reports, this seems to be part of Condé Nast’s McKinsey-ordered plan to create a more clearly defined reporting structure for publishers, through the creation of “super publishers” that now include Florio, Bill Wackermann (who now oversees Glamour, Details and Brides), Richard Beckman (Fairchild Group and W) and David Carey (Wired, The New Yorker and the golf group).

Full release about Plagemann, after the jump

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It’s Spin City for Moguls & Machers at Michael’s

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— DIANE CLEHANE

The flacks were certainly out in full force today at Michael’s. It seemed anyone who was (or represents) anyone was out and about with something to spin. Well, at least it’s a sign that life goes on in Manhattan no matter how bleak New York magazine says our financial future is. Although a pesky stomach bug kept me away last week, we hear things were really hopping with Michael Douglas holding court on Table One. (He’s in town filming the sequel to Wall Street, in case you haven’t heard.) Seems the Oscar-winning actor enjoyed several bottles of wine with a table full of ‘masters of the universe’ — no doubt asking these insiders how his character, Gordon Gekko, would handle the new world order in the financial district.

I was lunching today with a real media powerhouse, Debbie Phillips, who has turned her career as a work-life coach into a bonafide cottage industry. In 2003, Debbie founded “Women on Fire,” an organization whose mission she describes as “helping women achieve their dreams and desires.” (She hates the outdated term ‘networking’.) Having been a journalist, politico, and television producer for decades, Debbie brings plenty to the table. Among her many accomplishments: She was the first female press secretary in Ohio government, having worked for Governor Dick Celeste in the ’80s. When Debbie “stepped out of the swirl,” she somehow found herself coaching clients on life and career strategies before the now burgeoning industry even had a name. Although most of her clients by the mid-’90s were men, she saw her business take off in 2000 after deciding to focus on the needs of women. These days, the company’s multi-media platform encompasses books, CDs and DVDs as well as biannual seminars, which she calls “tea parties,”in New York. She also holds events in Ohio, Michigan, and Boston. These members-only gatherings, says Debbie, are designed to get women of different backgrounds talking about their accomplishments and goals in a “judgment-free zone” and serve as a much needed dose of empowerment to get things going. Sounds like a great idea to us.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. My pal Stu Zakim, who recently left his perch as Showtime’s spinmeister, presiding over a “boy’s lunch” with ABC News’ Jeffrey Schneider, Tony Fox of Comedy Central, Patrick Reilly of Sirius Radio, publicist Peter Himler, Jeff Bercovici who is writing for AOL verticals these days, flack Matthew Hiltzik, and Matt Frankel, formerly of AOL. Stu told me the guys had gathered to “celebrate” Arnie Huberman who passed away earlier this summer.

2. Steve Rubenstein

3. Publicity maven Maury Rogoff, Oprah.com writer Jill Brooke , and Fox 5′s Rosanna Scotto.

4. Richard Rubenstein

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