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Chatelaine, the women's magazine that's been a Canadian institution for more than seven decades, will be going through a change in leadership.

Editor Rona Maynard has decided to step down at the end of the year and will be replaced by the current managing editor, Kim Pittaway, effective Jan. 1, 2005, the magazine said Thursday.

Maynard, 54, said there are "a lot of other things that I'd like to experience ... I'm a restless person. I have accomplished everything in this job that I wanted to accomplish. My mission is fulfilled."

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She doesn't have anything specific lined up but will continue writing a column for Chatelaine, give some thought to writing a book, and do speaking engagements and editorial consulting work.

"I've had an extraordinary time here, it has been intense but it has been challenging. It's been endlessly exciting. You know, I never planned to be editor of Chatelaine - nor did Kim."

"The fact that I am leaving a strong successor in place is one of my greatest accomplishments - something I'm really proud of."

In a statement, publisher Donna Clark said Maynard has led the magazine through 10 years of "incredible growth and brought in a new generation of readers - we are truly sad that she has decided to leave."

Pittaway has been a journalist for 18 years, and began her association with Chatelaine as a freelancer in 1994.

In 1997, she joined the magazine as a freelance editor, and in 1999 started writing her monthly column Broadside. In 2001, she joined the magazine full-time as managing editor.

Pittaway said she's "committed to bringing the voices of readers onto the pages of the magazine and into the website."

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"Chatelaine will be the friend who points the reader to great buys, strategizes with her in coping with the demands of a busy life, supports her in her efforts to embrace a healthy lifestyle, and laughs with her over how crazy it can be sometimes," she said.

Chatelaine and Chatelaine.com are members of Rogers Media Publishing. The magazine, established in 1928, has been a key player in helping to define the lives of millions of Canadian women.

During the '60s and '70s when Doris Anderson was editor, the magazine played a role in national debates on the feminist movement. In addition, there have always been easy-to-read and entertaining fashion tips, health stories and recipes.

Five years ago, Clark and Maynard gave Chatelaine a major makeover to create a more appealing magazine for women in their 20s and 30s, in the face of increasing competition from U.S. publications.

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