Michael Clinton is the latest longtime Hearst Magazines executive to leave his role at the publisher.
Clinton, who’s been in magazine publishing for 40 years and a Hearst executive for more than two decades, most recently as its president of marketing, is retiring from the role come the start of July. While he is set to stay on as “senior media adviser” to chief executive officer Steve Swartz, he is in effect leaving the company.
In a joint memo, Swartz and magazines president Troy Young cited Clinton’s “tireless efforts” for the publisher and his role in launching titles like O the Oprah Magazine, Food Network Magazine, HGTV Magazine and The Pioneer Woman Magazine. The executives also noted that Clinton is getting a master’s degree at Columbia University focused on philanthropy and has a book coming out this fall.
“I’m proud of all that Hearst Magazine’s has accomplished and I know the best is yet to come,” Clinton said in his own note to staff. “It’s been my honor to work with the smartest brains in the business, whose energy and enthusiasm is the envy of the industry.”
Hearst is looking for a successor. Swartz and Young said Clinton is involved in the search. He could not be immediately reached for comment. Over the last year, Hearst has been going through a wave of changes as it shifts focus to digital, integrating it throughout the magazines division and its staff.
The executive turnover started last June, when magazines president David Carey left and was quickly replaced by Young. Since Young has been in charge, as can be expected with new leadership, it’s been months of alterations to leadership and operations on the whole. Joanna Coles was one of the first to leave — or be forced out — and Young put data-savvy Kate Lewis in her place. Then came a roll of changes to operations at magazines like Cosmopolitan, still one of Hearst’s most popular titles. Redbook magazine was closed outright, while Seventeen magazine was taken all-digital, with special print issues part of the plan. At the start of this year, publishers across a number of titles were replaced or moved, including Donna Lagani, who was at Cosmopolitan for 20 years, starting under editor Helen Gurley Brown.
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