If you’ve ever wanted to hear more about the goings on at Hearst Magazines and its cafeteria, there’s a podcast for that.
Meant for an internal audience but hosted on SoundCloud, the publisher in recent weeks has launched “Making Media,” WWD has learned, hosted by none other than Troy Young, the group’s president, and Kate Lewis, its chief content officer, both appointed to their respective roles about six months ago. The podcast is only the second to come out of Hearst Tower as Popular Mechanics is the lone magazine to have one of its own. But that seems poised for a change if the publisher’s two highest-ranking executives are making the effort.
And this is a first for Hearst Magazines — not to say that previous executives didn’t put in the effort, but the two new leaders are obviously keen to reach out to a very large staff in a very au courant way. Whether it’s working or not is another question — there are only 25 subscribers at the moment, although one does not have to subscribe to the podcast in order to listen.
Any employees who dropped in for a listen to the most recent episode will have gotten quite the mix of information. Gayle King, a host of “CBS This Morning” and editor at large of Hearst’s O The Oprah Magazine, talked of having a difficult time in couples’ counseling because a therapist refused to divide issues between “right” and “wrong.” (She’s long since divorced). She also mentioned how “ridiculous” she thought some recent controversy around the Christmas song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” was and how little knowledge of magazines she and her famously best friend Oprah Winfrey had when they met initially with Hearst almost 20 years ago.
“We knew nothing about magazine-land, so much so that we were like ‘toc’ [table of contents page], ‘What is that?’” King recalled. “Then it was cover lines — Oprah was like, ‘I don’t want all these cover lines!’ Then I was like, ‘I think they’re onto something with these…we’re gonna have to have more than one.’”
King and Young also talked briefly about how hesitant she was to launch a digital product of O magazine (which only happened this winter), but King admitted she’s glad it happened, noting in a self-congratulatory tone that the site is already bringing in around 1.2 million visitors (Young and Lewis also sounded pretty pleased with themselves at the figure).
But those looking for the real gossip need go no further than the first few minutes of King’s episode.
“We have the best salad bar in town,” King insisted to Young and Lewis. “Every other Thursday, are you aware of the cauliflower wrap that they have, that Betty makes over there in the corner? If you haven’t had that, you are denying yourself something really, really amazing. Just a tip.”
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