Memo Pad: Done Deal... Hope For Us All... New Talent...

As talks for new investors to buy Dennis Publishing near a conclusion, private equity firms continue to snap up other media companies.

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DONE DEAL: As talks for new investors to buy Dennis Publishing near a conclusion, private equity firms continue to snap up other media companies. The latest player is Clarity Partners, which has acquired a controlling interest in Modern Luxury Media, publisher of upscale city magazines including Angeleno, CS (Chicago Social) and The Atlantan for around $250 million. Clarity has a portfolio of media properties, including entertainment company Village Roadshow and Oxygen Media. It purchased its stake from the Roy E. Disney-founded Shamrock Capital, which bought into the publisher in 2004 for about $50 million. Modern Luxury had been on the block for seven months and attracted 30 potential buyers. It plans to use the cash to expand to new markets through more acquisitions. The most recent one was San Francisco magazine, which it bought in 2005 and redesigned from a city magazine to an oversize luxury title. Since 2004, the company has expanded from three magazines in three markets to 25 titles in 12 markets. Michael Kong, founder and chief executive officer, said Modern Luxury plans to tap 20 markets in the next five years. In September, the company will launch Miami magazine. — Stephanie D. Smith

Boy, has Cathie Black's income come a long way. The Hearst Magazines president revealed on "The View" on Wednesday that she made only $4,900 in her first job as a salesperson at the now-defunct Holiday magazine, which led to her initial experience in salary negotiation when she was promoted to one earning $11,000. But while we unfortunately can't all have Black do our salary negotiations, she and financial expert Suze Orman, who also contributes to Hearst's O, The Oprah Magazine, did provide some tips on the program on managing money and careers. "Be smart in the ‘going in' part of a job negotiation," Black advised. "Once you've accepted the job, you have no leverage." She also discussed her climb to the top of the corporate ladder (although she was much more discreet about her current salary) while balancing a career and a family. "I believe that women can have it all. They just can't have it all simultaneously." Finally, Black explained her approach to dismissing employees (perhaps if they ask for too much money?). "If you do have to fire someone, you have another person in the room, because we live in a much more litigious world today. You don't get into ‘he said, she said.' You make it very short, and ideally you make it somewhere else, not your office. Why? Because it's harder to get up and leave your own office and leave a person sitting there. Whereas if you're in a conference room, you can say, ‘You know, I think it's finished.'" If only the conference rooms at the Hearst Tower could talk. — S.D.S.
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