American Media Inc. quietly consolidated the staff of Men’s Fitness and Muscle & Fitness on Friday. The move resulted in about 16 layoffs at Men’s Fitness, including the exit of Dave Zinczenko, its executive vice president and editorial director, WWD has learned.
The shake-up, which took place on Friday, was presented by the company’s press department as the “creation of the AMI Fitness Group.” The group, which includes the Men’s Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, Muscle & Fitness Hers and Flex brands, will be run by executive vice president and group publishing director Chris Scardino and Shawn Perine, vice president and editorial director.
It was just four years ago that AMI brought on Zinczenko, who is the chief executive officer of Galvanized Media, to relaunch Men’s Fitness and oversee Muscle & Fitness. The editor also oversaw many brand extensions at the company, including book publishing projects.
Sources at AMI said the majority of Men’s Fitness’ editorial team was let go, as well as executive vice president and group publisher David Jackson, and some on the sales side. A spokesman noted that while many at the title were let go, the magazine lives on. Men’s Fitness will continue to publish 10 times a year and operate as a digital property. AMI has reallocated some editors and sales staff from its other titles to work on the fitness glossy, the rep said.
David Pecker, AMI chairman and ceo, offered: “We consolidated Men’s Fitness into the new Fitness Group, which caused duplicate functions for advertising and editorial staff. There were 16 duplicate functions and there was no impact to any other asset of AMI.”
Such consolidation in media usually is done for cost savings, and it also allows publishers to sell to advertisers across multiple titles by showing scale of audience.
Pecker continued: “Thanks to the extraordinary growth of the Men’s Fitness brand under the leadership of Dave Zinczenko and his Galvanized team, we are now able to take advantage of the strategic synergies that exist with the other brands in our Enthusiast Group to create a larger platform that is sure to benefit our partners as well as our growing audience. Dave and his team will be focusing on growing their own brands at Galvanized while remaining an important consultant for me.”
Zinczenko said: “I’m extraordinarily proud of the work done alongside David Pecker and the Men’s Fitness team over the last four years, and to see that brand grow into a category leader. Galvanized Media looks forward to growing our own successful brands —including Eat This, Not That, Best Life and others — while capitalizing on even more opportunities with AMI.”