"No, no, no," the designer said, responding to the rumors. "For sure not now. Maybe in a couple of years. They have all come to me. I prefer to wait. If I were to take a partner, it would only be to make a better team — not for some extra money."
— David Moin
DOUBLE DUTY: After Bauer Publications gave Richard Spencer double duty as editor of chief of both weeklies In Touch and Life & Style, Spencer decided to send in for reinforcements. Spencer on Tuesday made his two In Touch executive editors, Dan Wakeford and Michelle Lee, editors of both In Touch and Life & Style. Wakeford and Lee will work alongside Life & Style deputy editor Mark Coleman and editor Samantha Meiler. The remaining staffs of Life & Style and In Touch will remain separate.
Those are only the beginning of the changes Spencer will make to Life & Style, beginning with next week's issue. "I want to reposition it in a different way where we change the fashion and style to a bolder presentation and try to enhance the credibility of the news," said Spencer. He will introduce new sections and departments that emphasize trends for the week, shopping information and tidbits behind celebrity looks. "I'm fascinated by the stories behind the fashion," said Spencer. "Diana Vreeland once said 'It's not the clothes they wear, it's what they did in the clothes they wear.'" So Life & Style will incorporate a point of view that "isn't exactly looking at the clothes, but also what motivates them to wear the clothes." Or, in the case of frequent cover subject Britney Spears, not.
The changes at Life & Style come as former editor Mark Pasetsky, who took over last November, departs after a tenure marred by a contentious relationship with staffers and several high-level departures, including executive editor Joe Bargmann, who left a few weeks ago. Though circulation through June averaged 753,092, a 7 percent increase, sources close to the magazine said several issues in August, usually its strongest month for newsstand sales, sold below average — some in the 600,000 range. Spencer, as well as Bauer executives, envision Life & Style's circulation to reach a million or more, just like its bigger sibling In Touch. That said, Bauer will increase the price on both In Touch and Life & Style by $1 by October, to $2.99, which could slow newsstand growth as consumers weigh forking over more money for the magazine. "All the more reason to improve the product," said Spencer. — Stephanie D. Smith