Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Major shakeup in progress at Rogers Publishing with switchover to group publisher structure

Penny Hicks, who had been publisher of Maclean's since December 2011, has been named group publisher for the women's service magazines at Rogers Publishing, responsible for Chatelaine, Today's Parent and Canadian Health & Lifestyle. She replaces Tara Tucker whose position as publisher of Chatelaine has been eliminated after two years in the position. She is leaving the company. 

The announcement by Steve Maich, senior vice-president and general manager, publishing, is part of a major shakeup at Rogers. Hicks's appointment as group publisher parallels the appointment of Melissa Ahlstrand to be group publisher in charge of Flare, Hello! Canada and the trade magazine Cosmetics.

Maich says that there will be further group publisher appointments, one in charge of current affairs (Maclean's and Sportsnet) and one in charge of Quebec-based titles (Chatelaine and LouLou (French and English)). 
"Moving forward, we will operate under a Group Publisher model, with our publishers each overseeing a content category made up of more than one brand," he said in an internal company memo. "This new structure allows us to take advantage of editorial and advertising synergies in each group, and adapt to the rapidly evolving media environment. The change is driven by our desire to not only remain competitive, but build our brands on all platforms and grow our business."
Other announced changes:
  • the appointment of Rosemary Munroe as senior director of partnerships and new business for all magazine brands and brand extensions, such as the Today's Parent Approved program. 
  • Jim Hicks steps back from being publisher of Cosmetics to make way for Ahlstrand and to prepare for his retirement. 
  • Carole Beaulieu will continue as publisher and editor of L'actualite.
  • Julia Cyboran has been appointed associate publisher and editor in-chief of LouLou (English and French) after returning from a maternity leave and Joanie Pietracupa has been appointed executive editor after filling in for Cyboran

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Anonymous Greg MacNeil said...

Changes are inevitable and generally good for the health of a business. So, I like to check into this site to find out what's going on in the industry that I enjoyed so much.

Congratulations to Jim Hicks on his apparently imminent retirement. He did much for Rogers and served as a great ambassador within the cosmetics industry.

It's interesting to hear some of the changes being made by the various companies. Having spent my career in magazine publishing, I've seen them all before. For example, Telemedia, now TC, went to the Group Publisher model in the early 1990's. It worked well!

As the first President of St. Joseph Media, we used the same model. It worked well there too.

So, good luck to the new managers at Rogers in executing a proven model.

Separately, I thought Juice was a replacement for the old PC magazine. But, seeing the reference to Homemakers in the same piece was somewhat nostalgic for me.

When my former partners and I sold Homemakers to Telemedia in the 1994, Homemakers delivered a profit of over $2 million. (The confidentiality requirement has long expired.)But, times change.

Vigorous competition is part of the magazine business; but, I hope that with all the changes, the various groups find time to promote the magazine medium.

More than ever, it's needed.

Musings from afar...

Greg MacNeil

5:02 pm  

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