Time Inc. is reorganizing its publishing group to further consolidate the workforce, as well as reposition itself to compete with rivals.
According to a memo sent by new president of brands Rich Battista, the company will divide its titles into four groups — celebrity, entertainment and style; news and luxury; lifestyle, and sports. Each group will have a general manager, who will report to Battista. The changes mean reorganization for the group presidents. For instance, MaryAnn Bekkedahl, who was brought in to helm the fashion and luxury group in May, is no longer with the company. Charles Kammerer, though, is still at Time Inc., and he will be part of a new structure, which will be unveiled in the coming days.
General managers will “work closely with all departments across the company — editorial, digital, business development, sales, finance, video and marketing/communications — to manage the brands, develop strategies and drive incremental revenue and profits through new businesses and platforms and brand extensions,” Time Inc. said. General managers on the digital side will report to Jen Wong, president of digital. Wong also oversees HelloGiggles, Fansided and Cozi.
The news is the latest shakeup at Time Inc., which last week detailed how it would reorganize its editorial structure. That move followed a more in-depth memo that shook up its management team, and included the promotion of Fortune editor Alan Murray to chief content officer, succeeding Norman Pearlstine.
Under the new structure unveiled Tuesday, the news and luxury group — which includes Time, Fortune, Money, Motto, Time for Kids, Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine and Departures — will fall under the oversight of senior vice president and general manager Meredith Long. She had been the group publisher of Time, Fortune and Money. Departures senior vice publisher Steven DeLuca will continue in his role. He will report to Battista and work closely with Long.
According to the memo, Time Inc. will recruit a senior vice president/general manager for the lifestyle group. Battista said he will continue to oversee the celebrity, entertainment and style and sports groups. He will also oversee the video group.
For clarification, the celebrity, entertainment and style titles include People, Entertainment Weekly, InStyle, People en Español, Essence, StyleWatch, xoJane and Instant.
Time Inc. said Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence Communications Inc., will continue to head up Essence, but report to Battista.
Insiders say that InStyle publisher Patrick Connors will helm StyleWatch, as well, but that has not been confirmed by Time Inc. Additionally, sources told WWD that InStyle is looking outside of the company for a new editor in chief for the glossy, following the departure of Ariel Foxman last week. The team is looking to name someone by New York Fashion Week in September.
It is also believed that Food & Wine vice president and publisher Christina Grdovic will oversee Travel + Leisure as well.
The restructuring, of course, initiates another round of cost-cutting and layoffs at Time Inc. Insiders have buzzed that the cuts could be quite steep, in the double-digit percentage range.
Meanwhile, Susan Parkes has been elevated to the role of senior vice president of brand marketing and communications, while Bruce Gersh will become senior vice president of business development. Both executives will report to Battista.