by Jeffrey Blyth in New York
Ed Needham may return to Britain after giving up his job as US editor-in-chief of Maxim. He has been replaced by Jimmy Jellinek, who has been editing Maxim's sister publication Stuff.
The switch was accompanied by a denial of a story in the New York Post that Needham was being forced out as part of a plan by the company to cut costs.
Nevertheless efforts continue to find a buyer for Maxim, plus Stuff and Blender. One reputed bidder is Joe Francis, founder of the "Girls Gone Wild" softcore DVD franchise.
Not included in the sale is the US version of The Week, which Felix Dennis thinks still has big potential – and which is now said to be his favourite publication. What money the sale raises will go, it's been reported, towards Dennis's plan to reforest Britain.
Needham's time in the US has been somewhat tumultuous. He moved to the US to help launch the US edition of FHM. Jann Wenner lured him to Rolling Stone – but that partnership lasted a mere two years. Needham returned to the world of lad mags as editor in chief of Maxim. Only recently he supervised a redesign of Maxim, whose circulation has come down from its earlier whirlwind days. It still, however, sells an impressive 2,500,000.
Where will he go next? Needham says he will be returning to Britain to spend more time with his family. He has reiterated that he has resigned his post and not been forced out. In fact, he says, he made his request to be allowed to terminate his contract at least three months ago. A successor at Stuff has not been announced.