Wenner compounds PR cuts on heels of Disney deal

NEW YORK: Just weeks after Disney snapped up half of Wenner Media's

US Weekly, all but one member of the public relations team behind the

title has been axed.

The move sees the departure of three employees, including Stacey

Leinson, Holly Fussell and former Tipper Gore press secretary Camille


Johnston had relocated from Washington, DC and been at the firm a week

before the layoff announcement. Fussell joined last year from PR agency

LaForce & Stevens.

Wenner Media, which houses US Weekly, Rolling Stone and Men's Journal,

has been whittling away at its in-house PR department over the past


Communications director Julie Polkes left late last year and was only

partially replaced this year by Stu Zakim, formerly iCast PR chief.

Zakim became Wenner's chief liaison officer in March as part of the

Disney/US Weekly deal, which gave Disney a 50% stake in the title. In

recent weeks, he added the title chief communications officer.

'The department is becoming leaner. Each magazine will have one

publicist,' Zakim said.

He is currently negotiating media placements that were guaranteed as

part of the Disney/US Weekly deal with Disney outlets such as Good

Morning America.

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