Hearst Magazines is retooling its digital operations, as it looks to grow its audience on the Web.
The company has hired Brooke Siegel as director of editorial operations, a new role that will have the former editor in chief of DailyWorth.com reporting to Kate Lewis, vice president and editorial director of digital.
At Hearst, which owns titles such as Cosmopolitan, Esquire and Elle, digital and print are treated as separate businesses, with Web editors reporting to Lewis, and her boss, president of digital Troy Young. Print staff reports to the editor in chief of their respective magazines.
Siegel will work with site directors and editors across Hearst’s 18 titles to help them develop stories that will drive traffic. A spokeswoman cited Adobe Analytics data for May, which said that Hearst nabbed 131 million unique visitors across all of its sites. Insiders are a little skeptical of those numbers, but to put it in context, Buzzfeed, which Hearst hopes to emulate through viral story creation, attracts about 200 million unique visitors a month.
For her part, Siegel brings to Hearst about a year’s experience as Daily Worth’s top editor, as well as six months as senior editor at Google. She has also worked on the digital side at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., Punch! Media, Lifebooker LLC and DailyCandy in gigs that include commerce, editorial and social media management.
Siegel, who will start her new job July 20, joins recent digital hires, Michael Sebastian and Luke Crisell. A former Advertising Age media reporter, Sebastian was hired as senior news editor where he will manage the company’s shared news desk and contribute as a writer.
Crisell, a former editor in chief of fashion company, Aritzia, joined Hearst Digital about six months ago to work on special projects.
Hearst declined to offer more detail on Crisell’s role.