AMI's Rescue Plan... Vogue Stays on Style... Rolling Stone's New Publisher

American Media Inc. is back in the headlines, but this time around it has nothing to do with the National Enquirer or John Edwards.

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ROLLING ON: Feeling the effects of a troubled music industry and overall economic recession, Wenner Media switched out publishers at Rolling Stone on Wednesday, moving Men’s Journal publisher Will Schenck over to replace Ray Chelstowski. The move comes as ad pages for the biweekly magazine through Aug. 21 have shrunk by 20 percent compared with the same period a year ago, to 665 pages, according to figures from Media Industry Newsletter. Aside from the overall economy crippling advertising across most of print, the music industry’s consolidation and declining album sales also have negatively affected music magazines. Rolling Stone’s monthly competitors aren’t faring much better. Through September, Blender’s ad pages have declined 22 percent, to 388 pages; Vibe’s ad pages have fallen 18 percent, to 579. Spin is actually reporting an 8 percent climb, to 488 ad pages. In addition to the falling ad business, Rolling Stone in mid-October will cut its trim size back from its classic oversize format to a standard size, a move many assumed was a cost-cutting measure, but the company claims it will “yield more editorial pages, higher-quality paper stock and wider advertising opportunities.”

Schenck has had more success at Men’s Journal, where ad pages have increased 11 percent for the year through September, to 922. Schenck joined Men’s Journal in 2003 as associate publisher and was promoted to publisher in October 2005. He also has held sales positions at Vanity Fair, Talk and Gourmet. A successor to Schenck at Men’s Journal has not been named, but sources close to Wenner point to Wenner corporate sales executive Matt Mastrangelo as a strong candidate.

— S.D.S.

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