Hearst Magazines president David Carey is getting sentimental.
In a letter to his staff Wednesday, Carey looked back at 2014 and called it “a real roller coaster of a year for the media business.”
He admitted that Hearst Magazines experienced “growth and turbulence,” while highlighting the company’s Cosmopolitan title.
Citing former editor in chief Helen Gurley Brown, Carey talked about how she transformed Cosmo from a “sleepy women’s magazine” into an empowering publication that reflected the changing culture in the early Sixties.
“Hearst executives at the time recognized that Helen’s concept could serve as the foundation for a monthly magazine and a brand in its own right,” he said, noting that today, there are 61 editions of Cosmopolitan in 32 languages and 79 countries.
Cosmo was on his mind, as he readies himself to venture to Times Square on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the magazine’s partnership with Cover Girl. Cosmo will have branded 2015 garb at the event, a sort of advertising coup for Hearst.
Carey highlighted some enterprising moments for the company, including new print launch Dr. Oz The Good Life, as well as the reset of Hearst’s publishing suite, which would improve its digital experience. He also underscored the centralization of its digital editorial teams, as well as efficiencies in print, edit and business staffs. Those cost-saving measures speak to that turbulent media landscape.
He also cited “advertising triumphs,” but didn’t provide numbers. Glancing at the company’s different titles, it’s evident that those triumphs include a greater implementation of native advertising in print and online. Whether integrating ads in the form of peel-back covers or cover wraps is beneficial to a title’s editorial product was not addressed.
To counterbalance volatility, Carey pointed to growing business-to-business services that Hearst has investments in. They include CDS Global, iCrossing and Kubra.
“Our brands will be brought to life via large-scale live events and on the small-scale screens that we’ll all soon be wearing on our wrists,” Carey said. “And I expect our B2B service businesses to greatly expand, as they invest in technology solutions that enable their blue-chip clients to succeed.”
In his sign off, the executive said he “doesn’t expect current disruption of the broader media industry to calm down — this really is the new normal. Fortunately, the talent and flexibility of our teams, combined with the financial strength and growth orientation of Hearst Corporation, provides us with a major competitive advantage.”