New owner of Avenue magazine fires almost everyone

Real estate mogul Charles Cohen — who bought Avenue magazine in mid-December — has fired all the writers and all the staff, except for Editor-in-Chief Michael Gross.

One staffer told me, “Kim Il Cohen dropped a neutron bomb and all that’s left standing is the logo.”

Columnists such as Nina Griscom, Debbie Bancroft, R. Couri Hay, Beth Landman, Missy Hargraves and Asher Edelman were quietly let go in December.

President Randi Schatz was fired, allegedly on Christmas Eve. Three editorial staffers and three from business were laid off last Friday.

Cohen told me the Pentagram design company he hired to redo the magazine needed six months, which pushed back the relaunch from May to September.

The glossy, catering to Upper East Siders and the charity circuit of black-tie balls, is being revamped for a younger, hipper readership, Cohen said.

“I take great pride in everything I do,” Cohen told me. “The magazine will have a new direction, and we’ll be employing a lot of talented journalists.”

Avenue’s website has gone all but dark. Its last post was Dec. 21 and it still says, “We’re not on vacation. We’re building a new Avenue from the ground up. We’ll only be gone briefly and hope we won’t be forgotten.”

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