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Memo Pad: Paper Pushers... Where Will They Go?... Paper Trail...

The closing of House & Garden came as little surprise to those who follow the purse strings at Conde Nast.

WHERE WILL THEY GO?: All those adult ads in New York magazine will have to find another home. Two days before a planned protest by the National Organization for Women's New York chapter, New York magazine is "getting out of the sex business entirely," said a spokeswoman for the magazine Tuesday. "This is a full housecleaning."

NOW estimated New York magazine draws about $10,000 a weekly issue, figures on which the magazine declined to comment. The spokeswoman also refused to discuss the organization's contention in earlier press releases that the title "explicitly make[s] the distinction between legitimate spas and illegal massage parlors by featuring two separate ad categories and by charging up to three times the normal rate for the illegal businesses."

NOW-NYC president Sonia Ossorio told WWD the group received a call Monday to meet with publisher Larry Burstein. The Tuesday meeting effectively ended both the protest and New York's acceptance of adult advertising, licensed and unlicensed.

"I can't comment on our timing other than to say it's the right thing to do," said the spokeswoman, who confirmed the meeting. She said New York had started accepting adult advertising in the late Nineties. "The magazine is prospering now, so it's finally time to get out of a business we were never comfortable about

being in," she said — except, of course, when it needed the revenue.

In March, Time Out New York and smaller local publications like The Brooklyn Paper and Avenue signed NOW's pledge to refuse to profit from trafficking. Time Out publisher Marisa Fariña said the magazine hadn't dropped adult advertising "because we never had it," and that massage parlors are required to fax in copies of their licenses in order to advertise. The New York Press said in August that it would drop the category, though The Village Voice has held out.

New York magazine hasn't signed the pledge but, according to NOW, will help fight sex trafficking in New York — although just how remains vague for now. Starting this week, it will cease accepting sex-related ads, and by January, they will be gone entirely.

So far, NOW has limited its efforts to print — curious, given Craigslist and other Web sites have for years been key instruments of the sex trade. "We haven't thought much about Craigslist, to be honest with you," Ossorio said. — Irin Carmon
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