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Memo Pad: Miss January... On the Trail... Speaking of Digital…

"Deeply sensual." That's how Donatella Versace describes January Jones.

ON THE TRAIL: Condé Nast parent Advance Publications has an M&A man. Andrew Siegel, most recently the head of corporate development at Yahoo, has been named the first-ever senior vice president of corporate development at Advance. He starts Jan. 3.

The Siegel announcement came on the same day that Discovery Communications repurchased stock from Advance for $500 million. It appears that’s a pot of Advance money that Siegel will be able to play with.

“We’re going to use that as a war chest for business development,” said Steven Newhouse, chairman of advance.net. “As head of corporate development, he’s going to have a big role in that.”

Siegel is likely to make moves in an area where the company is desperately trying to make greater in-roads: digital.

“Because of his digital experience at Yahoo, he’s particularly well-suited to do deals in that space, and there are a lot of opportunities to do deals that might benefit Condé Nast,” said Newhouse.

Siegel, like Condé Nast’s first chief technology officer Joe Simon, is yet another executive at the company who does not have a magazine or newspaper publishing background. Prior to his stint at Yahoo, Siegel was an executive at General Electric, the head of corporate development for InVision Technologies (which GE purchased in 2004 for $900 million and which was best-known for creating explosive detection technology for the Transportation Security Administration), and an investment banker with Merrill Lynch.

“GE is like the Harvard for corporate development,” said Newhouse.

While Siegel was at Yahoo, he oversaw that company’s acquisitions of Associated Content and Citizen Sports. AllThingsD reported Siegel also made strong plays for Foursquare, Yelp and Groupon, but that none of those deals went through, partly due to concerns about Yahoo’s future.

Newhouse said Siegel will report to Advance chief financial officer Tom Summer.

— John Koblin

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