People Magazine and Entertainment Weekly Begin Merging Staffs
Brands will still operate as two distinct entities.
It comes as no surprise that People and Entertainment Weekly are reportedly in the beginning stages of merging the two staffs after months of speculation. The trend of celebrity magazines combining staffs is not a new one, and Time Inc. is amidst a series of staff reconstructions since the Time Warner spinoff.
According to the New York Daily News, a Time Inc. internal memo dated February 5th confirmed the internal buzz regarding a merge. The memo stated that while both of the brands will remain distinct, they will “share more resources,” according to CEO Joe Ripp. This notion of sharing resources while still remaining separate entities was also reinforced by Jess Cagle, editorial director for both People and EW. In an email statement, Cagle commented that he had been looking for ways to share more resources and work more closely together, "But make no mistake; they will always remain two distinct brands with two distinct audiences."
This staff merge is just the latest ripple in the recent series of changes over at Time Inc. Less than a month ago Matt Bean, now-former Entertainment Weekly editor-in-chief, was ousted after less than a year on the job. Matt joined the Entertainment Weekly team from Sports Illustrated and several reports suggested that he clashed with Cagle. The rift between the two may have been the fuel behind Bean’s move from EW into a corporate role as senior VP of editorial innovation. EW veteran Henry Goldblatt has since returned as deputy editor to replace Bean, with Cagle overseeing the magazine’s editorial direction.
Since Cagle assumed the role of editorial director for People and EW, there have been plenty of staff shakeups. According to the NY Daily News, it remains unclear whether this latest change will result in staff layoffs but it is expected to affect both print and online properties. Layoffs, however, may be an inevitable outcome for some staffers as the digital and print teams are being combined at the two magazines. The two offices will begin the physical merge within the coming weeks.