The American edition of Stuff, following the sale of several Dennis Publiishing’s American publications, is being folded and merged with the US version of Maxim. And that means some of the staff are being let go, some of whom have been told they are not entitled to any severance pay.
At least three are British, whose residence in the US depended on their employment for Dennis Publishing. Their names have not been disclosed, but one former colleague minced no words: ‘They are understandably pissed’he told Portfolio, the Conde Nast website.
A spokeswoman for Alpha Media, the company that bought the Dennis publications, insisted the three staffers, two of whom he claimed actually worked at Maxim, were terminated as an inevitable result of the change in ownership.
They were working in the US on a specific type of visa which is usually only issued to journalists who are full-time employees of a British or foreign news company,
The spokeswoman added that as employees of Dennis Publishing it will be up to Felix Dennis to decide whether they are entitled to severance pay – or find jobs for them in London.
Stuff , originally launched in 1998, at one time had a circulation of more than l,300,000 in the US – but its ad income has lately declined dramatically.
Whereas the circulation of Maxim has climbed.
A major investor in the take-over deal is Kent Brownridge, a veteran of Wenner Media, owners of Rolling Stone and US Weekly, an executive with a reputation as a tough boss who will be serving as CEO of the new Alpha Media Group.
Although what role he played in the dismissal of the former Dennis employees and their denial of compensation is not known, at least one columnist in the US, Simon Dumenco, who writes for the leading trade journal Advertising Age, has already labelled him ‘Dr Evil”.
Although Stuff after October will no longer appear as a magazine in the US, its name will continue as a stand-alone website.