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Newhouse Meets With Nervous Staff

July 10, 1998|JOHN J. GOLDMAN

Tina Brown, S.I. Newhouse Jr., chairman of Advance Publications, the parent company of Conde Nast, and Steven T. Florio, the president and CEO of Conde Nast, met on Thursday with the New Yorker's staff to make assurances.

Newhouse said he was not cutting the budget of the new editor, whom he hoped to select by the middle of next week. In response to a question, he also said that he was not going to hire an efficiency expert to study the money-losing magazine.

Newhouse said he wanted the next editor to have intelligence, wit, cultural awareness--someone who can "turn a light on in my head."

"I am not looking for another Tina," he said. "There is no such thing as another Tina."

He said that, as with all new editors, there could be changes.

Newhouse said he would be considering people from the New Yorker's staff as possible candidates, but that the job was wide open.

Brown thanked Newhouse for the financial and emotional support he had provided during her six years at the magazine. The meeting lasted about 15 minutes, and employees were nervous and quiet.

"You certainly must have questions?" Brown asked. Her prompt elicited nervous laughter.

One veteran editor described the mood at the magazine as uncertainty mixed with sadness.

"There is a lot of sadness here," the editor said.

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