Edward Felsenthal has been named editor in chief of Time magazine, the company said Thursday. Felsenthal, who has been the digital director of Time Inc. since 2013, succeeds Nancy Gibbs, whose exit was revealed on Tuesday.
“One of the hallmarks of Time is its nearly 100-year commitment to high-quality, trusted journalism, and handing the reins to an accomplished, well-respected journalist like Edward ensures Time’s continued commitment to that high standard,” Time Inc. chief executive officer Rich Battista said. “With his proven talent and record for driving significant digital and video growth for Time and more than a dozen brands across our portfolio, Edward has demonstrated that he is also an entrepreneurial, innovative talent and the perfect person to lead Time’s continuing expansion across all platforms, reaching new audiences while upholding the trusted journalism that has defined the brand.”
Felsenthal’s appointment is seen as a way to focus on beefing up Time Inc.’s digital footprint. “We want to do more projects that use all of our muscles and all of our story techniques and platforms, while continuing to produce an excellent weekly magazine that keeps us in the news mix,” he said. “You are going to see our work across more platforms, distributed even more widely. And that’s a big change from where we were even just a few years ago.”
Asked about what to expect going forward, Felsenthal pointed to Time’s recent multiplatform special package “Firsts,” which highlighted female achievement and featured multiple covers, an event, video, a forthcoming hardcover book and an interactive site. He also pointed to Time’s eclipse coverage and the magazine’s package about hate in America in response to Charlottesville.
“One of the biggest things about print, and this gets at the power of the cover, is that far more people see and share the Time cover on their phones than get it in their homes,” he said, of the changes to newsstand. “Print is still very much a part of the total package that we offer, and the different pieces drive each other.”
This masthead change comes at a time of industrywide shuffle. The news of Felsenthal’s appointment came the same day that WWD reported that Cindi Leive had resigned as editor in chief of Glamour. Earlier this week, Hearst said Robbie Myers was leaving her post as editor in chief of Elle and would be succeeded by Nina Garcia. Last week, Graydon Carter announced he would retire as editor in chief of Vanity Fair at the end of the year.
“Presumably these are coincidences over the past couple of days, but I think part of what is challenging and exciting about this business is the speed with which it’s changing,” he said. “Even as we cover high-velocity change in the world, we are changing our own newsroom and the way we work and our own culture. That’s happening across the media landscape. Change is constant in our business.”
Time Inc. has been feeling the effects of an especially tumultuous year across the publishing industry. The company decided against selling itself in April after entertaining bids in an unofficial exploration of a sale. In June, Time Inc. cut 300 jobs across the company. The following month, Time Inc. said it would explore a sale of several titles.