Brewster bows out

brewsterBrewster bows out: As long predicted here on the rexblog, Bertelsmann AG is expected to oust Daniel B. Brewster Jr. as chief executive of its Gruner + Jahr USA Publishing, according to this morning’s Wall Street Journal.


His career at Gruner + Jahr has been marred by several setbacks, including an ugly and widely publicized court battle with former talk- show host Rosie O’Donnell over the collapse of a magazine they jointly published; a scandal over the quality of the company’s circulation data; and a series of ill-timed acquisitions, including the once-hot Internet-era business magazine Fast Company.

Here is a timeline of posts I’ve made on the rexblog concerning today’s news. It can catch you up on the background. It is also an example of how a weblog can track a story.

November 11, 2003: Cooking with G+J

flamerexblog quote: Personally, however, I find it hard to believe that J+G would have the audacity and sheer effrontery to supply inflated circulation numbers to an audit bureau.

November 13, 2003: Line dancing

rexblog quote: Embattled G+J head coach Dan Brewster today announced the half-time entertainment for this year’s Gruner + Jahr Circulation Cooking Bowl will be a Texas two-step dancing troupe called “Greg Zorithian & The Interim Audits”….Apparently Coach Brewster wants to review whether or not the practice of inflating circulation numbers is an appropriate strategy and methodology.

November 13, 2003: Is Dan done?

rexblog quote: In trying to decode the quotes and nuanced shadings of Kelly’s article, one would be led to compare Brewster’s prospects to that of, say, Steve Spurrier.

November 21, 2003: Harried Potter

rexblog quote: Today, Diane Potter, senior vice president and director of consumer marketing at G+J, offered her resignation “because she believes it in the best interests of the company,” according to the AP. One doesn’t have to be a herder to know a scapegoat when you see one.

November 26, 2003: What hath we wrote?

rexblog quote: I’ve decided this is that last time I am going to post a link to an article regarding the G+J circulation-cooking scandal until Daniel Brewster announces that he is stepping down “to pursue other opportunities.” Frankly, that is the only possible next news in this regrettable event.

Decenber 25, 2003: Fast numbers

rexblog quote: No, I am not the complete and total geek implied by my posting to the rexblog on Christmas day a story about magazine circulation. (For the months of June, July and December 2002, Fast Company overstated its newsstand circulation by around 50 percent each month, according to a report that first ran in Women’s Wear Daily.) Not, that I didn’t suggest earlier that the folks involved had been naughty, not nice, during the past year.