Advanstar's Callanan out amid talk of sale

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Advanstar's head of healthcare publishing has left the company, as talk of a sale percolates through the business press.

Annie Callanan, the executive vice president in charge of the company's healthcare, pharmaceutical and science portfolios, was the most senior of a number of recent departures at the firm's healthcare division.

Advanstar corporate marketing director Georgiann Decenzo said Callanan "resigned her position. She left to seek other opportunities," and that Callanan's departure was unrelated to recent job cuts, including the elimination of around 10 posts from the healthcare division in recent weeks. Callanan could not be reached for this story.

Callanan's duties will be assumed by Steve Morris, who previously headed the firm's market development division, including its lists business. Morris, who has been with Advanstar for two years, will be based in Montvale, N.J.

The move appears unrelated to a possible sale of the company, as reported in The New York Post Sunday. Advanstar's owner, Credit Suisse First Boston, declined comment on the story, and a senior Advanstar exec called it "highly speculative" while a spokesman dismissed talk of a sale as "market rumors."

Just three months ago, the company unloaded six divisions onto Questex Media Group in a $185 million cash deal, dispensing of its Information Technology & Communications, Travel & Hospitality, Beauty, Home Entertainment, Abilities and Portfolio groups to concentrate on its Fashion, Life Sciences and Powersports businesses. The company vaulted into the top tier of medical publishers with its acquisition of Thomson Corp.'s Medical Economics unit in October 2003.  
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