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Merri Lee Kingsly Out at Saveur, Mag Reorganized

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Saveur's VP, Group Publisher and chef defender Merri Lee Kingsly has been let go. According to a press release, Saveur will be folded into Bonnier's travel titles, headed by Ernie Renzulli, Vice President, Group Publisher for the travel brands. The party line is that "Renzulli will deepen the natural connection between great travel and great food," while Adweek cites sources who said that "Kingsley clashed with Bonnier CEO Terry Snow over resources."

Reached for comment, Kingsly told Eater: "I leave a legacy of amazing success by taking a gem of a magazine to the top of the advertising industry and hope to continue the most incredible friendships I have ever made in publishing... [Saveur editor-in-chief] Jim [Oseland] is one of the most brilliant editors I have ever worked with and a real visionary and I hope they have continued success." Here's the press release:

Bonnier Combines Travel and Epicurean Brands Under Veteran Executive

New York, N.Y. — Bonnier Corp. has announced it is aligning one of the company’s marquee brands, Saveur, with its affluent travel titles. The award-winning food, wine and travel publication joins Bonnier’s Islands, Caribbean Travel & Life, Spa and Destination Weddings & Honeymoons brands, enhancing Saveur’s already formidable position in the travel market.

Ernie Renzulli, currently Vice President, Group Publisher for the travel brands, will add Saveur to his duties. During the past 20-plus years, Renzulli has consistently delivered double-digit revenue growth while working at several top media companies, most recently as COO of Shermans Travel Media.

True to Saveur’s tagline of “Savor a World of Authentic Cuisine,” Renzulli will deepen the natural connection between great travel and great food. “The new combination brings the best of two markets together,” he says. “Our research shows food is a major part of the travel decision, so with Saveur known for its authenticity, we’ll have a full menu of choices for our clients.”

“Ernie’s talent of creating new revenue platforms to enhance existing brands is phenomenal,” says Bonnier CEO Terry Snow. “Leveraging his travel experience on Saveur will open up new business possibilities while creating a key strategic fit with our other market-leading travel brands.”

At Shermans, Renzulli oversaw sales and the digital marketing of and Smart Luxury Travel magazine. Prior to that, he worked for high-profile publications including Robb Report, where he was Vice President and Publisher, as well as Golf Magazine properties and Playboy.

· All Saveur Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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