Meredith Corp. Shuffles Sales Structure Amid Ongoing Time Inc. Integration
Six group publishers will each oversee a handful of brands, reporting to Meredith Magazines president Doug Olson.
As the dust settles following Meredith Corp.’s blockbuster acquisition of Time Inc. in January, the look of the newly merged company continues to come into focus.
Days after announcing an aggressive integration plan for the acquisition—which will include selling at least four titles and slashing hundreds of jobs over the coming year—Meredith revealed Monday a restructuring of its sales and marketing teams, organizing the former Time Inc. titles into a series of portfolios containing existing Meredith brands, each led by an individual group publisher.
The changes essentially undo the 2016 overhaul of Time Inc.’s sales structure, which eliminated publishers and placed more emphasis on category- or industry-based sales teams rather than those in charge of individual titles.
Meredith veteran Doug Olson, who was promoted to president and GM of the company’s magazine business in 2016, will assume business-side leadership of Meredith’s newly expanded portfolio, with six group group publishers reporting to him. Olson, in turn, will continue to report to National Media Group president Jon Werther.
- Longtime Women’s Health publisher Laura Frerer-Schmidt, who appeared to be one of the victims of Hearst’s acquisition of Rodale, will now join Meredith as group publisher of InStyle and Shape. Ann Gobel, who was VP of Time Inc.’s lifestyle group, will now report to Frerer-Schmidt as publisher of Shape. Kevin Martinez, who had been VP and group sales director of InStyle, will evidently not remain with the company going forward.
- Giulio Capua, who most recently served as chief business officer at Condé Nast and publisher of Architectural Digest until last October, will join Meredith to oversee the luxury titles Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure. Reporting to Capua will be Food & Wine publisher Todd Bair, who once served as VP of Golf Digest, and Travel + Leisure publisher Jay Meyer, who had previously been SVP of Time Inc.’s travel group.
- The Magnolia Journal‘s publisher, Mark Josephson, is set to see a major promotion after that title’s successful launch in 2016; he’ll be given additional oversight of Midwest Living (with Melissa Luebbe as publisher), as well as Parents, Parents Latina, Ser Padres, and Family Fun (with Steve Grune as group publisher), and Traditional Home (with Beth McDonough as publisher).
- Stephen Bohlinger, VP and group publisher of Better Homes & Gardens and Family Circle, will add the Time Inc. titles Southern Living and Coastal Living to his portfolio. He’ll also continue to serve as publisher of Better Homes & Gardens, while Lee Slattery will stay on as Family Circle publisher. Deirdre Finnegan will shift over from Better Homes & Gardens to serve as publisher of Southern Living and Coastal Living.
- Martha Stewart Living group publisher Daren Mazzucca will add Real Simple to his portfolio. Chris Guilfoyle will serve as publisher of Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings, reporting to Mazzucca.
- Carey Witmer heads up the sixth group of titles as group publisher of Cooking Light, Eating Well, Health, Allrecipes, and Rachael Ray Every Day, the latter of which she will also continue to lead as publisher. Denis Gallagher, formerly VP of global agency development for Time Inc., will shift to publisher of Cooking Light. Tiffany Ehasz will continue as publisher of Eating Well. Brendan Smyth, who had previously been with Time Inc. as associate publisher of Sunset and Coastal Living before joining Meredith in 2016, has been tapped as the next publisher of Health, which had previously been overseen by Ann Gobel as part of the lifestyle group.
The company says a new publisher of Allrecipes will be named shortly.
“To fully capitalize upon our portfolio of brands and capabilities, we are aligning our sales and marketing activities within an account-driven and solution-oriented go-to-market approach that continues to place our iconic and trusted brands front and center,” said Werther in a prepared statement.
Additionally, Bruce Gersh, who was promoted last week from GM to EVP and president of People, Entertainment Weekly, and People en Español, will oversee a subgroup of publishers: Cece Ryan, former Real Simple publisher, will now head up People; Ellie Duque will stay on as Entertainment Weekly publisher; and Monique Manso will continue to lead People en Español.
Mike Schneider has been promoted to serve as group publisher of Fortune and Money until those titles are sold. Similarly, Danny Lee, who had been VP of brand sports sales for Sports Illustrated and SI Kids, will take over as publisher of Sports Illustrated, and Jorg Stratman has been promoted from VP and group sales director to publisher of Time.
The announcement makes no mention of Karen Kovacs, or Lauren Newman, who had both been heading up industry-based sales teams since the 2016 restructuring at Time Inc. Others, like Greg Schumann, Brendan Ripp, Charlie Kammerer, Ron King, and Rick Simmons, departed the company at various points over the past two years.
EVP and chief revenue officer Michael Brownstein will be responsible for cross-brand partnerships, while SVP Marla Newman will continue to lead the digital sales team, reporting to Stan Pavlovsky, president of Meredith Digital.
Finally, Meredith has opted to make Time Inc.’s branded content studio, The Foundry, its central creative lab, with Chris Hercik promoted to chief creative officer. Meredith’s former branded content arm, Studio M, will be absorbed into The Foundry.