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NEW PAIR OF EYES: After months of collaboration among the top ranks at In Style in a drive to revitalize the magazine, Time Inc. is giving managing editor Charla Lawhon a promotion for her efforts. She has been named editor, the In Style Group, while Ariel Foxman, Time Inc. editor at large, will become the magazine’s managing editor. In her new role, Lawhon will oversee all editorial operations of the flagship title, the 14 international editions, instyle.com and specials including In Style Weddings and Makeovers. Foxman will oversee only the magazine and will report to Lawhon.
The move isn’t that surprising, given that Lawhon has been with the magazine since its test phase in 1993. But speculation on her future started to swirl after circulation began to stagnate. At the end of 2006, circulation flattened to 1.8 million, with newsstand sales falling to 765,937, a 8 percent drop compared with the year prior. It was then that Time Inc. brought in Foxman, who had worked at In Style in the late Nineties but left in 2003 to become editor in chief of the ill-fated Cargo.
After several rounds of tweaks — new approach to covers, new front of book sections and finally a total overhaul in August — In Style recently has begun to turn around. For the first half — when most magazines reeled from declines — the title’s total paid circulation was up 3 percent to 1.8 million and newsstand sales jumped 4 percent in to 783,254. Early figures for the August issue show a 13 percent improvement in newsstand sales over last year with around 746,000 copies sold.
The transition is to take place as of today, and for those who are wondering, Lawhon is still planning to attend the shows in Milan and Paris. — Stephanie D. Smith