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Hearst Says It Will Shut Down Glossy Connoisseur Magazine

January 09, 1992|VICTOR F. ZONANA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NEW YORK — Connoisseur magazine, which epitomized the conspicuous consumption of the 1980s, was killed Wednesday by Hearst Corp.'s magazine unit after an effort to recast the publication as a clone of Conde Nast's Vanity Fair failed.

Connoisseur's subscription list will be merged with Hearst's Town & Country magazine, where selected editorial features will also be incorporated.

Connoisseur's advertising pages peaked at 1,083 in 1988 under Editor-in-Chief Thomas Hoving, the former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Advertising plunged 36% in 1991, to 477 pages from 742 pages a year earlier. The monthly magazine's circulation was stuck around 320,000 despite a highly promoted make-over last February under Editor-in-Chief Gael Love.

"The magazine did not reach our circulation objective," said D. Claeys Bahrenburg, president of Hearst Magazines, who said the publication would have needed circulation of 500,000 to be viable.

Connoisseur's 26 editorial and 20 business staff members will be offered positions at other Hearst publications "where possible," the company said, adding that the future role of Love "has not yet been determined." She couldn't be reached for comment.

Founded in London in 1901 as The Connoisseur, the magazine became a Hearst publication in 1927 when it was acquired by Hearst's United Kingdom subsidiary. It was relocated to the United States in 1982 and renamed Connoisseur.

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