Starting this week’s Media Carousel with a trio of announcements from Meredith Corp., the publisher of People, InStyle and Entertainment Weekly.
First up, the company has named Catherine Levene president of its national media group, encompassing the magazine business, which swelled following its $2.8 billion acquisition of Time Inc. She takes the helm from Jon Werther, who departed last year, and will oversee print, digital and consumer products. Levene joined Meredith in January 2019 as corporate chief strategy officer, quickly moving into the chief digital officer role and her appointment as president can be viewed as a sign of Meredith’s renewed focus on its digital properties as the pandemic further exacerbated declining print advertising revenues.
“A lot of the growth in the company is coming from the digital business,” Levene said. “We know that consumers are spending more time across all sorts of digital platforms so I think you’re going to see us expanding more across digital platforms. But I also started my career in print….and I’m a firm believer in print and the tactile nature of it. It’s a different experience so I think, yes, you will see us expanding more into digital and that is indeed the future of the business. But print remains critically important to us and frankly in my opinion always will to some degree.”
As chief digital officer, she was responsible for beefing up Meredith’s podcast offering, among other duties, which segues into the second jobs announcement from the Des Moines, Iowa-based publishing company: Longtime People staffer Janine Rubenstein has been revealed as the host of People’s new flagship weekday podcast “People Every Day,” launching Feb. 1. She has worked at People for close to a decade as a senior editor covering breaking news, music features and human interest stories. Prior to joining People, Rubenstein was a news and entertainment reporter at Essence. In addition to podcast host, she will step into the role of editor at large, where she will continue to write, report, and oversee select editorial projects for People.
Finally, Entertainment Weekly’s top editor JD Heyman has exited the company after just a little over a year in the job and the reason for his departure is unclear. What is known is that Meredith is searching for his successor and Alex Brez, director of editorial operations, and Tim Leong, deputy editor, are steering the ship in the meantime. A Meredith spokeswoman said: “JD Heyman and Entertainment Weekly, produced by Meredith Corp., have parted ways, effective immediately. Meredith thanks JD for his contributions to the EW and People brands over his many years of service.” She declined to comment further.
Elsewhere in the media world, at Maven Inc., the publisher of Sports Illustrated, new chief executive officer Ross Levinsohn has been building out his team, just revealing Andrew Kraft as its new chief operating officer and Jill Marchisotto as chief marketing officer. Kraft has been at Maven since 2018 in a variety of roles and previously worked at Xandr, the division of AT&T Inc. formerly known as AppNexus, for seven years. Marchisotto joined the company in 2019 with its acquisition of TheStreet, where she led the consumer subscription business and marketing strategy. Maven’s stewardship of Sports Illustrated has not been smooth sailing and in August its ceo James Heckman was ousted and replaced by media mogul Levinsohn.
Meghan Hoyer, the data editor of the Associated Press, will join The Washington Post to lead a new department dedicated to data journalism and act as a consulting editor on data-driven stories, graphics and visualizations across the newsroom. Seven data journalists will report to her and remain embedded in their current departments — graphics, investigative, metro and national.
Whembley Sewell, editor in chief of Condé Nast’s Them, is to take charge of Love magazine, which will move from London to the U.S. The change comes after Katie Grand departed earlier this year from Love, the biannual publication she set up in partnership with Condé in 2009. Going forward, Condé plans to broaden the title’s fashion-centric perspective “to highlight and celebrate new themes and editorial opportunities that champion identity and inclusion.” It will be staffed by a network of contributors and members of the editorial team of Them and Condé did not respond to request for comment on what will happen to London-based staffers.
Vanity Fair editor in chief Radhika Jones recently revealed some new hires, including Miriam Elder, who is joining The Hive, Vanity Fair’s media, business and technology vertical, where she’ll oversee coverage online, as well as edit features for the magazine. Elder was most recently a senior politics reporter at BuzzFeed News and launched BuzzFeed News’ World desk in July 2013. Cassie da Costa has been tapped as a staff writer covering movies, TV and the intersection of culture and identity, while Kia D. Goosby joined Vanity Fair last week as market editor, focusing on women’s ready-to-wear.
Julia Longoria has been named the host of The Atlantic and WNYC Studios’ new podcast, The Experiment, which will examine the myths and ideas at the heart of the American experiment and the way powerful forces of history collide with our everyday lives. Longoria joins WNYC Studios and The Atlantic from The New York Times, where she was a producer for The Daily and other long-form audio projects, including Rabbit Hole.
Her former employer, The New York Times, is opening an official bureau in Spain and has tapped Nicholas Casey as Madrid bureau chief. Casey joined The Times in 2015 following a stint at rival The Wall Street Journal. He did a brief turn on Metro before taking on the role of Caracas bureau chief.
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