fashion-memopad
fashion-memopad

Memo Pad: Arnault's Expanding Empire... Everywhere, All the Time...

Bernard Arnault has a new toy - and he got it just in time for Christmas.

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ARNAULT'S EXPANDING EMPIRE: Bernard Arnault has a new toy — and he got it just in time for Christmas. Arnault's LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton concluded its controversial acquisition of Les Echos, France's leading financial newspaper, on Monday, according to a statement released by the luxury giant. Purchased from Britain's Pearson plc for 240 million euros in cash, or $345 million at current exchange rates, the deal also includes the newspaper's Web site, as well as Groupe Les Echos SA's monthly business magazine Enjeux and other financial information services. Over the weekend, France's Minister of Economy Christine Lagarde highlighted certain conditions of the sale, which include LVMH's relinquishment of the competing French business daily La Tribune and its Web site. A statement released by LVMH on Monday confirmed it had signed an agreement to sell La Tribune to Alain Weill, owner of NextRadioTV. Arnault's proposed purchase of Les Echos stirred intense opposition from its journalists, who charged his ownership of the paper would threaten its editorial independence. LVMH's other media holdings include the Investir financial weekly, the monthly Connaissance des Arts art magazine and the Radio Classique music station. — Katya Foreman

EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME: As hard as it may be to believe, the presidential candidates are going to become even more ubiquitous — and Glamour is doing its part. On Wednesday, Hillary Clinton became the first of what the magazine hopes will be many presidential candidate guest "bloggers" (actually just brief essays or answers to commenters' questions) on its Web site. "As a young woman, I was reminded daily of what I couldn't do — the schools I couldn't attend, the sports I couldn't play, the jobs I could never have," Clinton wrote, adding, "I watched my daughter and her friends grow into capable young women, watched them compete with men in every field — politics, finance, medicine, law. I watched them get involved in my campaign because they've grown up being told by their parents and teachers that anything is possible and they want to see me prove it." It's no coincidence Clinton is the first to appear on the site: Her campaign officials contacted Glamour when they heard about Glamocracy, its blog featuring daily posts from five women on different points of the political spectrum — presumably as part of Clinton's effort to appeal to women voters. John McCain is the only other candidate confirmed so far.
Glamour's election coverage push — for which it added Linda Kramer Jenning, formerly of the People magazine Washington bureau eliminated in last January's Time Inc. job cuts, as Washington editor — also includes profiles of women in the current presidential campaign in the title's January issue and more is planned.

Glamour editor in chief Cindi Leive said there were few outlets covering the upcoming election that centered on the interests of young women, and the blog also offers a chance for less political readers to venture in alongside the diehards. "There's the hope that women browsing for beauty and fashion will see it and click on it, and I'm sure that's some of the reason the candidates want to be there," she said.

But by now, Leive said, the magazine has built relationships with the campaigns, "so I think they have a sense that it's not just going to be 'me and a hundred pages about mascara,' that it's going to be in the context of a magazine that talks about fashion and social and political issues that women care about."

Of the blogs Glamour has added in its Web presence this past year, Leive said, Storked, a real-life diary of a young woman's unexpected pregnancy and child rearing, has been the most popular. Asked what parameters would be used to tailor the coverage to the audience, Leive conceded, "Wonky and cerebral are not the adjectives we think are going to be applied to this." To wit, one of the first comments on Clinton's blog posting reads, "That is the best pic I've ever seen of Hillary. If she does win, I hope she gets a male intern under her desk!" — Irin Carmon
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