NEW TITLES ALL AROUND: Condé Nast Publications Inc. just keeps shuffling the deck, with another set of changes revealed Tuesday afternoon: Marc Berger, Details associate publisher, will fill the publisher spot at Men’s Vogue, while Robert Sauerberg Jr. was promoted to group president, consumer marketing, from executive vice president, consumer marketing. Apparently Sauerberg’s first order of business in his new role was promoting Ilene Cohen to vice president, consumer marketing. The memo on her new title accompanied the internal announcement of Sauerberg’s new title.
Sauerberg will still oversee sales and marketing for Condé Nast, but will also now take a seat on the Magazine Publishers of America board next to David Carey, who was promoted to group president, publishing director, during the reorganization kickoff Jan. 7. Though Sauerberg’s new title is similar to ousted group president Mitchell Fox’s, he is not directly replacing Fox, who until his departure last week was group president, publishing director, overseeing the Golf Digest magazines, the Fairchild Fashion Group (which includes WWD), W magazine, Bon Appétit and Condé Nast Bridal Media. However, Sauerberg will fill Fox’s seat on the MPA board. Before his role at Condé Nast, Sauerberg worked for five years for Fairchild Publications Inc., rising to chief operating officer, and spent 18 years at The New York Times in various finance and administration roles.
This story first appeared in the January 16, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
At Men’s Vogue, Berger replaces William Li, who was tapped to become publisher of Portfolio on Monday, reporting to his mentor Carey. Berger has served several years at Condé Nast men’s fashion magazines — two years at Details, a year as an associate publisher at defunct men’s magazine Cargo, a few more years as advertising director at Vanity Fair and four years at GQ.
The flurry of press releases won’t end with today’s appointments — there are still vacant publisher spots at Teen Vogue and Wired.com. Some, no doubt, hope those jobs will be filled while flights to Condé Nast’s annual publishers’ meeting in Florida at the end of the month are still available. — Stephanie D. Smith
FROM PRINT TO WEB: The upper reaches of 4 Times Square aren’t the only areas to welcome new staffers. Joanne Lipman has reached into the newspaper world once again as Condé Nast’s Portfolio has tapped Dan Colarusso to edit its Web site. Colarusso was the New York Post’s city editor until abruptly quitting in December. Prior to that, he served as the Post’s business editor. He can also boast some Web experience, having worked at TheStreet.com until joining the Post in 2002.
Colarusso will be subject to a somewhat unusual reporting structure, at least within Condé Nast — he answers both to editor in chief Lipman and group president and publishing publisher David Carey. “Joanne’s in charge of the quote unquote journalism, I’m in charge of getting broad distribution for the content,” Carey told WWD. And to those who wonder about possible conflicts of interest, Carey said, “If there’s a piece or a blog post that may affect an important client, I don’t get a vote on it.”
Ari Brandt will remain general manager of the site, overseeing its business.
Carey compared the structure with that of Wired, which was placed under his purview last week, and which has a Web site editor who works both with Wired editor in chief Chris Anderson and CondéNet president Sarah Chubb.
The New York Observer reported in December, and sources at Portfolio confirmed, that Colarusso had been interviewing for the position of Portfolio.com editor in early 2007, just before he was promoted to the Post’s city editor. Carey said portfolio.com drew 1.7 million unique visitors in November, and two million in December. — Irin Carmon
IT’S OPRAH’S WORLD: Oprah Winfrey has already named a magazine and TV show after herself, so why not add a whole TV network to the mix? The queen bee of TV revealed her plans for a new cable network (the Oprah Winfrey Network, naturally) on Tuesday, but her loyal fans needn’t worry: She’s not giving up her daytime talk show duties. Winfrey said she’ll continue with “The Oprah Winfrey Show” until at least 2010, but it will not be televised on OWN, at least for another five years, due to a deal that is already in place. “I will be creating new programming, but I will be the voice and the brand of the network,” said Winfrey during a conference call.
She also made it clear that OWN, a venture with Discovery Communications, will not be Oxygen 2.0. “I was an investor in Oxygen, and I will have to say the channel did not reflect my voice, and I was not a participant in the development in the channel. That’s why shortly after the deal I took myself off the board. This is very different. I am the chairman, and I will be choosing the chief executive, and I will be involved in every single element of programming.”
The network will launch in 2009 in more than 68 million homes on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel.
It’s hard to imagine how Winfrey will find the time to work on the network, in addition to movie producing, her daily talk show, the magazine and everything else under her watch. She acknowledged it will take more time in the beginning to properly launch the network. “When the magazine, started I was giving about five to six hours of my day to the magazine,” she said. “And when we found the right leadership,” including having her best friend Gayle King leave her job in television for the magazine, “that was helpful.”
And while a chief executive officer has not been named for OWN, it would be no surprise if O, The Oprah Magazine editor at large King eventually becomes involved in the new network. After all, she has a background in TV as an anchor and briefly hosted a daytime talk show. She also grew up in Bethesda, Md., just a few miles from Silver Spring, the headquarters of Discovery Communications, which has a 50 percent stake in OWN. — Amy Wicks and S.D.S.