Niche Media restructures to balance growth plans

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Niche Media has a completed a restructuring, which includes the creation of two new executive roles, frequency increases for four of its luxury magazines and some layoffs and consolidations.

“Based on the acquisitions that have taken place over the last few years, we need to realize the efficiencies so we can operate as a single, stronger company,” explained Jason Binn, the company's CEO.

Production and accounting duties for multiple magazines have been consolidated in Niche's New York headquarters. In another trim, shelter title Florida InsideOut will be folded into Ocean Drive.

Niche is also exploring growth opportunities. Despite recent layoff reports, the company plans to hire about two dozen new employees in local markets. Four Niche titles will increase their distribution frequencies in 2009. Boston Common, Philadelphia Style and Capitol File are increasing their publishing schedules from six to eight times a year, and Los Angeles Confidential will move from eight editions per year to 10.

The changes are not expected to affect the company's marketing plans, which include more than 500 events a year.

Currently, Niche distributes more than 8 million magazines annually. The publisher reports revenue growth of 10% so far this year compared to 2007.

Glenn Albin, editor-in-chief of Ocean Drive magazine, has been promoted to the new position of editorial director at Niche Media's NY headquarters. Carlos Suarez, formerly art director for Ocean Drive, will also move to the New York offices to serve as creative director. Both changes are effective as of January 1. The two men will be responsible for staffing local market editorial teams and building the local presence of each of Niche's city-focused titles.

Florida InsideOut editor-in-chief Sarah Harrelson will fill the editor-in-chief position at Ocean Drive.

Niche Media Holdings, Greenspun Media Group and Ocean Drive Media Group merged in June 2007, combining 16 magazines under the Niche Media name. Philadelphia Style was acquired in February, and the company launched Michigan Avenue magazine in September.

Niche follows a controlled circulation model, sending its titles to individuals with an annual household income of $250,000 or more and liquid assets exceeding $1 million.

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