||Leive joins Self magazine
as its new editor in chief
Glamour's deputy editor replaces
By Rebecca Finkel
Self magazine has a
new editor-in-chief. Cynthia Leive, deputy editor of Glamour, will assume the post on Aug.
2, replacing Rochelle Udell, who is leaving to pursue other interests, according to Conde
Leive has worked at Glamour for more than a decade. She was hired as an
editorial assistant in 1988 and was promoted to senior writer three years later. She was
named deputy editor last summer. Leive produced Glamour's annual Women of the Year special
issue. Before Glamour she worked at The Paris Review and The Saturday Review.
Udell has not said what she intends to do when she leaves
Self but the New York Post reports that she is in talks with Hearst magazines president
Cathleen Black and Oprah Winfrey about taking a top position with the new title that is
set to launch next spring aimed at viewers of Winfreys talk show. Udell did not
return phone calls seeking comment.
Leive takes over Self at a critical time. Ad pages have dropped
18.9 percent from January to June, to 539 pages, and ad revenue are down 16.4 percent year
to date. Single-copy newsstand sales dropped 8.8 percent in 1998.
Some attribute the magazines declining sales to a verticalization
of the health and beauty categories, which they say has made the magazine increasingly
vulnerable to niche publications.
"Self became a horizontal magazine with a lot of vertical
competitors," Martin Walker of Walker Communications told Media Life in an interview
several weeks ago. "The Self of today is too general to compete with the niche
publications and yet too specialized to go against the more general-interest womens
magazines. That leaves it floating in a vacuum with no real identity readers and
advertisers can attach to."
But media buyers interviewed by Media Life say the magazine is
experiencing a temporary slump but remains well-positioned in its category. Neil Ascher,
group media director at DMB&B, said, "Self has managed to keep up with the wants
and demands of active women, given all the changes in the category in the past few
years." Ascher considers the magazine a must buy for advertisers targeting
health-conscious women. Anita Peterson, director of the Optimum magazine group at DDB
Needham Worldwide, told Media Life, "Women turn to Self because they have a healthy
mindset and a healthy lifestyle."
Self is second to Allure in reaching women ages 18-49 and second to
Elle in reaching educated women. Shape still leads the fitness category with a circulation
of 1.3 million.
-Rebecca Finkel is a staff writer for Media Life.