UNBUNDLING THE SALES FORCE: Brant Publications group publisher Alan Katz has parted ways with the company after Brant eliminated his position and assigned individual publishers to its three titles — Interview, Art in America and The Magazine Antiques. Samantha Fennell, formerly associate publisher of Elle, was named publisher of Interview, Cynthia Zabel was named publisher of Art in America, and Jennifer Norton was promoted to publisher of The Magazine Antiques.
Katz left Brant Publications at the end of 2008 after his contract expired, according to the company. Katz joined Brant in March, and oversaw sales for the relaunch of the magazines, which included a redesign of Interview in September. “Alan came in and reorganized things, helped set up the various departments, and created some synergies between the magazines, but at this point we felt like the magazines needed individual publishers,” said Glenn O’Brien, Brant’s co-editorial director.
Though the September issue pulled in 142 ad pages, a 11 percent increase from the year before, the magazine still recorded a 27 percent decline in pages for 2008, at 656, as the recession dragged down advertising across most of print for the fourth quarter. Publishers Information Bureau reported this week that magazine ad pages dropped 17 percent in the fourth quarter alone, compared with the same period in 2007.
Fennell was a top consideration for the Interview job months before the reassignments were made, but she was unavailable — she spent the last six months fund-raising for the Obama campaign. Prior to that, she was associate publisher of Elle for nearly two years. Fennell also spent eight years at Condé Nast in various sales positions at Vogue and within the Condé Nast Media Group. She takes her new position Feb. 2.
At The Magazine Antiques, Norton was promoted after 11 years as advertising director, while Zabel was promoted to publisher from advertising director of Art in America. The other two Brant titles never had publishers, as both ad directors reported to former Brant Publications chief executive Sandra Brant and later to Katz. Both magazines also recently underwent redesigns.
— Stephanie D. Smith