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In another sign that business is getting brutal for magazine publishers in the current economy downturn, Condé Nast on Monday announced it is folding...

IN THE ROUGH: In another sign that business is getting brutal for magazine publishers in the current economy downturn, Condé Nast on Monday announced it is folding Golf for Women as of its July /August issue, already on newsstands. The news came just hours after Hearst Magazines said it had hired Golf for Women's editor in chief, Susan Reed, to become the next editor in chief of O, The Oprah Magazine.

"We came to this decision because we feel the magazine will not support our long-term business objectives," said Charles Townsend, president & chief executive officer of Condé Nast Publications in a statement on the closure.

Sources close to the situation said that Reed was courted by Hearst for several weeks about the O magazine job, and gave her notice to Condé higher-ups today. Reed will succeed Amy Gross, who is retiring, and will assume her new role July 29. Reed had been editor in chief of Golf for Women since 2002; prior to that she was a senior literary agent at IMG Literary, a features editor of Condé Nast's Women's Sports & Fitness, and a senior writer at People.

Upon learning of Reed's departure, Condé executives considered replacing her but instead decided to fold the magazine entirely, according to sources. Condé Nast chief operating officer John Bellando and executive vice president, human resources Jill Bright broke the news to the Golf for Women staff late Monday afternoon. Townsend and group president David Carey, who oversees the Golf Digest properties, were both out of the office yesterday. About 30 people will be affected by the closure; those that are not placed within the company will depart by early next week.

According to sources who attended the meeting, Bellando said that the magazine had the support from endemic golf-related advertisers, but non-endemic advertisers such as beauty, fashion and automotive didn't come around. Through the July/August issue, Golf for Women ad pages declined 7 percent, to 336 pages.

Golf for Women was launched in 1988, and Condé Nast purchased the magazine in 2001 from Meredith Corporation. The title published six issues a year and had a circulation of 600,000. — Stephanie D. Smith
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