Memo Pad: Michael Jackson Sells and Sells... Changes at Hachette...

It’s no surprise the celebrity weeklies are seeing a bounce in newsstand sales from coverage of Michael Jackson’s death.

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NEW LEADER: Former Hachette Filipacchi Media chief executive officer Jack Kliger has jumped back into publishing. He will join private equity firm OpenGate Capital as a senior adviser and as acting ceo of TV Guide Magazine, which OpenGate acquired in December from Macrovision for $1, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (Macrovision later sold and its television channel to Landscape for a reported $250 million).

Kliger joins OpenGate a year after he stepped down as ceo of Hachette, where during his nine years at the helm he managed titles including Elle, Woman’s Day, Car and Driver and Road & Track. He hit a few potholes there as well, however, including the launch and subsequent closure of teen title Ellegirl, raunchy men’s magazine Shock and women’s service magazine For Me. Prior to Hachette, Kliger was an executive vice president at Condé Nast Publications — parent of WWD — and publisher at Condé Nast’s Glamour and GQ. Kliger succeeds former ceo Scott Crystal, whom OpenGate dismissed suddenly last month. At the time, OpenGate named Michael Clayton, the company’s executive vice president, as Crystal’s interim successor. Clayton will remain with the company and report to Kliger.

OpenGate also owns an auto parts company, Gabriel North America, and European modeling agency Models1, but TV Guide is the firm’s first foray into media. “As OpenGate continues to expand into media, and as the company furthers its success with publications like TV Guide Magazine, Jack’s guidance on media and expansion strategies will be a tremendous asset to us,” said ceo Andrew Nikou of Kliger’s hire. That said, TV Guide has struggled since its new owners took over. The weekly magazine reportedly lost $20 million last year; through June 29, ad pages have declined 28 percent, to 364. — S.D.S.
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