CHANGING SHAPE: Change is already in the air at Shape magazine, which was acquired by Meredith Corp. on Wednesday.
The deal also included the digital assets of Shape, Natural Health and Fit Pregnancy from American Media. But the centerpiece of the acquisition is Shape, which will join Meredith’s title Fitness magazine. Sources told WWD that Fitness’ last issue will be in April, and that upon announcing the deal, many of Fitness’ staff was let go. The publisher hopes to combine Fitness and Shape for a larger health-inspired magazine that will debut in May.
Dave Zinczenko and his company, Galvanized LLC, will be working with Meredith to combine Shape and Fitness. Zinczenko, who served as Shape’s acting editorial director, will stay on beyond the transition and retain a similar role over the combined titles, WWD has learned.
According to an internal memo sent by Meredith National Media Group president Tom Harty and executive vice president of the women’s lifestyle group Tom Witschi Wednesday, Tim O’Connor will become Shape’s publisher.
O’Connor most recently served as managing director of Meredith’s corporate sales group, while Shape editor in chief Elizabeth Goodman Artis will retain her role as top editor of the magazine.
Fitness editor in chief Betty Wong will transition to the role of digital editor in chief, overseeing both titles. Fitness publisher Eric Schwarzkopf will transition to the role of associate publisher, working with the Shape sales team.
O’Connor and Goodman Artis will report to Witschi, while Wong will report to Meredith’s chief digital officer Andy Wilson.
Shape’s former publisher, David Jackson, will remain at AMI.
The Shape deal is one in a string of recent acquisitions for Meredith. Recently, the publisher inked a 10-year licensing agreement with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia to buy its right to Martha Stewart Living, Martha Stewart Weddings and marthastewart.com’s media properties.
Financials for Wednesday’s acquisitions were not disclosed, but Meredith said it would shed further light on that in its second-quarter earnings call on Jan. 28.