Reed to revamp three brands

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Reed Elsevier is reviewing three of its most famous print brands as the company battles to beat the recession.

The FTSE-100 media giant will be revamping its big name publications, New Scientist and Variety, as well as Elsevier, the arm that publishes academic journals. Variety is understood to have been particularly hard hit by the slump in advertising revenues.

Keith Jones, the chief executive at the Reed Business Information division, said in a memo to staff on Friday: "We have a team looking specifically at how we can ensure the long-term success of three of our biggest print brands."

An industry source said that the group is attempting to "ensure the commercial viability" of the brands.

A solution is likely to focus on driving the titles' online offerings. Reed Elsevier's chief executive, Ian Smith, is known to be keen to focus on potential web revenue, and has already put a number of US print titles up for sale.

Reed's shares closed at 440.6p on Friday, up 1.12 per cent on the start of trading.