Time Inc. is looking to get ahead of the digital news game with the launch of a new centralized digital newsroom. The purpose of the division is to distribute viral news and breaking news across Time Inc.’s various titles. A similar structure has been deployed by Hearst Digital, but the main difference is that Time Inc. will tap editors who work at the various magazine titles. At Hearst, the digital division relies on a viral news team to work with web site editors.
According to a memo from Time Inc. chief content officer Alan Murray, the unit will be led by 10 leaders across the company, who have an expertise in core subjects from entertainment and fashion to technology and news. For example, if a story about Kim Kardashian breaks, the team lead for celebrity will work with Time Inc.’s celebrity and entertainment titles to craft a story that can be distributed across its various web sites and social channels.
“Every writer and editor who covers one of the topics above will contribute to at least one digital desk, each of which will have a dedicated Slack channel where coverage can be coordinated 24/7,” said Murray. “While most routine assignments will continue to be handled within the brands, it will be the role of the desk leaders to ensure that we are collaborating in real-time, quickly seizing opportunities to win in social and search and steering our collective resources where we can have the most impact. We will track our audience growth not just across brands, but also across the desks.”
Desk leaders include People’s Sara Nathan (celebrity), Entertainment Weekly’s Christopher Rosen (entertainment), Cooking Light’s Stacey Rivera, Health’s Theresa Tamkins (health), Real Simple’s Laura Schocker and Coastal Living’s Steele Marcoux (home and real estate), Sports Illustrated’s Mark McClusky (sports), People’s Andrea Lavinthal (style & beauty), Fortune’s Andrew Nusca (technology) and Travel + Leisure’s Miles Stiverson (travel and luxury).
Time Inc.’s group digital director Edward Felsenthal and Will Lee will run the new division. Felsenthal will oversee the news, technology, food, home and travel desk leads, while Lee will head up beauty and style, celebrity, entertainment and sports leads.
Additionally, Lori Leibovich, digital editor of Real Simple, will become digital director of women’s content. She will work with editors throughout the company on efforts aimed at growing the audience of Millennial women, which includes “expanding the @WomenIRL franchise and working with the Motto and the Fortune Most Powerful Women teams.”
Deborah Caldwell, assistant managing editor for new strategic initiatives at Money, has been promoted to director of e-commerce content. She will “help readers make smart purchasing decisions, from beauty products and books to gadgets and credit cards,” Time Inc. said, noting that e-commerce is a “major initiative for 2017.”
Murray concluded his memo, offering: “Team, this is an important moment for us to demonstrate our collective talent and commitment to winning in a digital-first world. Your energy and dedication as we seize this moment is crucial and sincerely appreciated.”
In the coming days, Time Inc. will hold town hall meetings discussing the changes, but they are yet another signal of how magazine companies such as Time Inc., Condé Nast and Hearst are increasingly focusing on digital over print.