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10-Year-Old English-Language Magazine Folds

March 12, 1991

PARIS (AP) _ For 10 years, the magazine Paris Passion covered the delights and essentials of living in the French capital, from finding Paris’ best croque monsieur to how to win arguments with rude French sales clerks.

But the English-language publication is now closing its doors. Staffers are emptying drawers and closets in preparation for turning over the magazine’s offices and other assets to creditors.

″It’s sad. We all loved our work,″ said Linda Johnson, in charge of advertising for Paris’ only such English-language magazine.

Paris Passion delivered articles and information on topics from cuisine to couture and also broke more daring ground.

Two editors headed a ″Gay and Lesbian″ section. And the magazine once labeled Serge Gainesbourg, the heartthrob songwriter who died last week, as one of France’s 10 most annoying people.

Passion articles explained how to engage the French in a favorite pastime, the ″pointless quarrel″; advised how to handle dreaded visitors from overseas in an article entitled ″Houseguests From Hell″; and examined why American comedian Jerry Lewis is so extraordinarily popular in France.

Paris Passion began publishing in 1981 as a biweekly 24-page city magazine featuring news on restaurants, exhibits, shows, fashion, nightlife and notable personalities.

When in 1984 circulation nearly tripled to 35,000, the magazine expanded to 60 pages and went all-color - a near-fatal move that led to bankruptcy in 1987.

The British publishing concern Time Out then bought the faltering Passion and pumped money into it, hoping to boost circulation to 75,000 by 1992.

But Time Out never made money from the venture, pumping $1.4 million into the magaizne, which only pulled in about $1.3 million in revenues, Managing Director Karen Louise Albrecht said.

With the onset of the Persian Gulf crisis in August, tourism plunged, and advertising revenue followed suit.

The December-January issue was the magazine’s last.

Ms. Albrecht said that given new investors, the magazine could resume publication, although she said that was unlikely to happen this year.

Paris Passion had eight salaried staffers, a handful of free-lance consultants and a score of contributing writers.

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