Michele Promaulayko


Hearst is bringing back a familiar face to helm its flagship title, Cosmopolitan.

Michele Promaulayko, the former editor in chief of Women’s Health and Yahoo Health, has been named editor in chief of Cosmopolitan. The editor had served as executive editor of Cosmopolitan from 2000 to 2008 under Kate White.

Promaulayko, who will also assume the role of editorial director of Seventeen, succeeds Joanna Coles, who has been named chief content officer, following Ellen Levine‘s resignation from the role. She starts her new job today and reports to David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines.

“We’ve been talking with Michele for some time,” Carey told WWD. “She was really the only name we were considering. It was Michele or bust.”

According to Carey, Promaulayko will pick up Coles’ mantle and help close the loop between print, digital and events for the brand. That includes the continuation of programming, such as Cosmopolitan’s E! reality show, both Promaulayko and Coles will have starring roles.

“All of our businesses are in a constant state of evolution and we ask our editors to look at them with fresh eyes,” offered Carey.

For her part, Promaulayko hopes to bring in new voices, as well as build out new sections, including health. Cosmopolitan tried its hand at health with the development of CosmoBody, but that endeavor came to a halt due to waning interest from subscribers.

“I hope to develop fluidity across platforms…that’s what you’ll see,” the new editor in chief offered. “Working at Yahoo made me better equipped to be a stronger partner with the digital team here.”

Promaulayko exited Yahoo when the company folded roughly half of its digital magazines. Prior to that, she helmed Women’s Health for six years, where she oversaw all aspects of the brand, including print, digital, and brand extensions including events, apps, and books. At the time of her departure for Yahoo in 2014, expressed excitement to move into the digital sphere.

But on Tuesday she told WWD that her return to print would allow her to “bring all of the facets of the Cosmo brand” together, including “deeper dive” stories on careers and wellness.  The editor will also have oversight over Seventeen, which currently has no editor in chief, following the dismissal of Michelle Tan last month.

“I am incredibly excited to be coming home to Hearst to take the reins of two brands for which I have so much affection,” Promaulayko said of both Cosmo and Seventeen. “Cosmopolitan is not only iconic, it’s an innovative market-leader and an inspirational powerhouse for young women around the globe. Both Cosmo and Seventeen have major influence on the lives of millennial women—I can’t wait to take on the challenge of guiding such a vital audience.”

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