Time Inc. is doubling down on health in order to capitalize on the lucrative, yet mercurial wellness market.
The publisher said Thursday that it appointed Lori Leibovich as head of its new multimedia health vertical, as well as editor in chief of Health, its magazine title.
Leibovich succeeds former Health editor Clare McHugh, who has been named senior director for edit operations. McHugh will work with chief content officer Alan Murray on developing the company’s editorial operations and lead special projects. She will also remain a contributing editor at Health.
In addition to her role as editor in chief, Leibovich, who most recently held the role of digital director of Time Inc.’s women’s content, will also oversee Time Health, a multimedia site that encompasses content from Time, Health, Fortune, Cooking Light, Real Simple, My Recipes, Southern Living and People.
The vertical fills a white space in the market left open as the health and wellness media industry has begun consolidating. In recent years, Meredith Corp. bought Shape from American Media Inc., only to fold its magazine, Fitness into Shape. Meanwhile, Condé Nast shuttered its health magazine, Self, in print last year. David Pecker’s AMI has been scooping up men’s fitness titles; it bought Men’s Journal from Wenner Media and said last week that it will shutter the print version of Men’s Fitness. This comes after the company consolidated the staff of Men’s Fitness into Muscle & Fitness, Muscle & Fitness Hers and Flex brands earlier this year.
Rodale, a major health and fitness magazine publisher that operates Women’s Health and Men’s Health, is on the block, and according to insiders, potential buyers could carve up the company and consolidate its titles. Speaking of sales, Time Inc. is also in the process of exploring the sale of several of its titles, including Sunset, Coastal Living and Golf, as well as a stake in Essence.
“By putting a seasoned digital leader at the helm of the Health brand, we are moving to better serve our growing audience on the media platforms they prefer,” Murray said. “Lori is an experienced lifestyle journalist, and I look forward to seeing what she does to continue to elevate health coverage across Time Inc. Clare has been a passionate leader of the Health brand, and she will play a critical role in our evolution as a company over the coming months.”
Lebovich added: “Time Inc.’s audience is hungry for reliable, actionable information that can help them live longer, healthful, more meaningful lives. I look forward to spearheading new initiatives to help them do just that.”