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Tuesday, October 08, 2002

No More Mutual Funds

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Fund public relations executives got a closer look at the news yesterday than they may have realized. Steven D. Kaye, executive editor of Mutual Funds magazine was among the members of the media who addressed the ICI Public Information Committee meeting held yesterday in New York City. Kay detailed the publication's future editorial plans for the fund executives.

It turned out that the listeners needn't have taken notes as the magazine has no future. Within hours of the talk, Mutual Fund Magazine was no more, as AOL Time Warner's Time Inc. pulled the plug later that afternoon. The final November-dated issue hit the news stands this week.

"Either they did not tell him [Kaye] of the news or he did a good job of hiding it," one fund industry flack told the MutualFundWire.com.

The magazine is a victim of the drastic cutbacks fund firms have made in their ad purchases. Ironically, the magazine had done a fair job of holding onto advertisers by at least one measure. The magazine had lost 24 percent of its ad pages this year, according to the New York Post, but that is less than half the 58 percent drop in all ad spending by fund firms so far this year reports Competitrack.

Admittedly, Time officials said that the magazine was in the red and there are few prospects for a turnaround.

"The mutual funds industry is undergoing fundamental structural changes, and this has created a difficult outlook for fund advertising over the long-term. The prospects for the magazine's growth just weren't there," Ann Moore, chairman and CEO of Time Inc., told the media.

Unfulfilled subscriptions to Mutual Funds will be assumed by Time's Money Magazine. Also going to Money will be Mutual Funds' Publisher Michael Dukmejian. He will become publisher of Money. Kathy Kayse, the incumbent publisher, moves to People magazine.

Not so lucky are the other 33 staffers of the magazine, they are all out of a job.  

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