In what amounts to a major shift in managerial strategy for its celebrity titles, Bauer Publishing announced late yesterday the appointment of In Touch Weekly editor Richard Spencer to editor-in-chief of Bauer’s other celebrity title, Life & Style. Spencer, who retains his In Touch editor title, replaces Mark Pasetsky, who is out less than a year after taking over at the Life & Style helm. Pasetsky’s tumultuous tenure had been marked by a number of high-profile editorial defections, the touting of nonsensical “exclusives” and rumors of rather odd behavior.
At the time of his hire, Pasetsky said he had hoped to ramp up the magazine’s “intense style coverage.”
Both magazines will continue to operate with separate staffs and each publication will have independent news gathering resources, according to the company.
Spencer – Life & Style’s third editor in a year and a half – is something of a Bauer publishing veteran, having served as editor-in-chief of Soap Opera Update in the mid-1990s while launching Life Story, a series of single-celebrity one-offs. In 1999, Spencer launched J-14, a magazine that came to define the “tween” category.
Through September, In Touch, with a rate base of 1.2 million, is up 20 percent in ad pages over the same period in 2006, according to Bauer. Ad revenue is up 29 percent to over $100 million.
Life & Style, the smaller of the two magazines, doubled its ad revenue ($21.59 million) on 321.5 ad pages – a 51 percent increase – during the first half of 2007, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. The magazine, with a rate base of 650,000, overdelivered some 100,000 copies, tallying 744,000 single copy sales, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
Despite the impressive numbers, it’s been a weird year at Bauer. The company announced the September launch of Cocktail Weekly – a magazine aimed at women in their 20s – in January, only to pull the plug on the project in July.