Monday, June 28, 2010

Change at the top of Hearst Magazines as it poaches key executive from Condé Nast

Cathleen (Cathie) Black has been promoted to chairman of Hearst Magazines and is being replaced as president by David Carey (right), moving over from rival publisher Condé Nast Publications.
Mediaweek reported that his defection was "shocking" and that the shock was at both ends: at Condé Nast since Carey was considered a contender to replace Chuck Townsend as CEO; and at Hearst where his hiring (and apparent clear track to ultimately succeed Black as chairman) puts into question the future of some execs who thought they were on that track.
Insiders said that it had become clear Townsend wasn’t about to retire, giving Carey reasons to set his sights elsewhere. With Carey gone, they say signs are pointing more strongly to Bob Sauerberg, the group president of consumer marketing who has been heavily involved in Next Issue Media, the publishing industry’s e-reader consortium; and Glamour publisher Bill Wackermann, whose oversight has grown lately with the addition of Brides and Details to his stable.

Carey’s position will not be filled, a Condé Nast spokeswoman said, and his direct reports—including Wired and Golf Digest—presumably will now report directly to Townsend. As such, his (and Florio’s) departure also marks the latest unraveling of the group publisher structure at Condé Nast as it shifts to a leaner organization. (Wackermann still has that title, but he also serves as Glamour’s publisher.)
MarketWatch said observers considered Carey as one of the industry's most savvy executives, particularly for his transformation of The New Yorker. It added rather acidly...
To some, it might seem at first blush that Carey has jumped off the Titanic and landed smack on the Lusitania, for the modern magazine business is in deep trouble. Condé Nast itself closed down two of its titles, Portfolio and Gourmet, in recent years while McGraw-Hill sold Business Week to Bloomberg.
The publishers have largely failed to keep pace with the flow of technology and many failed to take advantage well of the Internet as a revenue center.
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