BERNER TO HEAD MPA: Mary G. Berner is the new president and chief executive officer of the MPA, the Association of Magazine Media. She succeeds Nina Link, who revealed in June she would be stepping down. Berner was president and ceo of the Reader’s Digest Association until she was pushed out last April over disagreements with a new board. A former publisher of TV Guide and Glamour, Berner rose through the ranks at Condé Nast, eventually heading Fairchild Publications (now Fairchild Fashion Media), owner of WWD.
Berner said when reached Monday she’s especially prepared to be the magazine industry’s main cheerleader as it’s undergoing “an unprecedented period of challenge.”
“Everything I’ve ever done has been a turnaround, or a transformation,” Berner said.
She led RDA through four years of turmoil — a bankruptcy and frequent board turnovers — and budget-cutting, as the flagship title struggled to stay relevant. She also refocused Reader’s Digest to have a more conservative tilt.
Since leaving RDA, Berner, who had a one-year non-compete agreement, said she’s been sitting on boards, spending time with her family, and traveling to all of her “bucket list travel destinations.”
“I was anxious to do something where I can make an impact,” she said.
The MPA chose Berner after a two-month search to replace Link, who decided to move on to grow her own consulting firm. Link, who held the position longer than anyone else, will stay on through the end of the year as an adviser to the MPA.
Berner’s appointment is effective Sept. 17.
“We’re fortunate to have a ceo of Mary’s caliber leading the industry charge going forward at a time of unprecedented transformation and opportunity,” said Michael A. Clinton, chairman of the MPA.
“I love a challenge — especially when the facts are on our side — as is the case with the strengths of magazine media,” Berner said.