By Keith J. Kelly Richard Ekstract, founder of Cottages & Gardens Media, has sold his three regional shelter magazines to a company headed by industry veteran Marianne Howatson of Dulce Domum LLC. Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, Westchester Cottages & Gardens and Connecticut Cottages & Gardens are all part of the deal. Howatson has had a wide variety of media jobs, ranging from president of Playboy publishing to Gruner + Jahr, where she was group publisher of Parents and the teen title YM. She has also served as publisher of Self and Travel & Leisure. She partnered with Jay Chiat to take Screaming Media public be fore the dot- com bubble burst in 2000. Her plan is to crank up the frequency of the free circulation magazines. Ekstract tried to sell the magazines two years ago, and said he plans to work on producing reality TV shows and creating a video art museum.
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