Bonnier Shakes Up 'Parenting'

Bonnier Corp. is replacing Janet Chan, the vice president and editor of Parenting, as part of its larger revamp of the former Time4Media titles purchased last January from Time Inc. Chan's spot will be filled by Susan Kane, previously the editor of the Parenting Group's Babytalk magazine. Like Chan, Kane will also serve as overall editorial director of and Babytalk. Chan will continue to work with Bonnier as an editorial consultant.

Kane assumes the new role as Bonnier's Parenting Group faces intensifying competition from new lifestyle titles for mothers like Conde Nast's Cookie and Disney's Wondertime, which have both enjoyed a boom in ad pages and readership over the last several years.

In 2007, Cookie's ad pages are up 45% compared to 2006, to 705, while Wondertime grew 60% to 450. Parenting also faces competition from Meredith Corp.'s Parents, which turned in 1,509 ad pages in 2007, up 3.3%.



Chan, who came to Parenting from Good Housekeeping in 1996, led a well-received redesign of the magazine in 2003, when it was still owned by Time Inc. The new look won the magazine that year's National Magazine Award for general excellence, but since then, ad pages and circulation have flagged. Parenting's ad pages fell 13.5% in 2007 compared to 2006, to 1,060. Meanwhile, in the first six months of 2007, newsstand sales fell 28.4% to 17,642.

Bonnier credits Kane with revitalizing Babytalk over the last 10 years, including repositioning the magazine brand in 2005 and publishing the first Babytalk book, due out this year. But the magazine is also taking some heat from the new competitors, with ad pages down slightly in 2007, dropping 3.4% to 502.

Bonnier, a Swedish publisher, purchased most of the Time4Media titles in January 2007 for rumored $200 million to $300 million--a figure lower than Time Inc. had hoped. The low-ball price was attributed to the fact that many of the flagship enthusiast titles were suffering at the newsstand and in ad pages.

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