Meredith Corp. announced a new sales and marketing structure for its National Media Group on Monday.
“Meredith offers our clients and partners an unparalleled combination of trusted brands, coveted audience reach, actionable insights and analytics, and innovative marketing solutions that drive best-in-class results,” said Meredith National Media Group president Jon Werther. “To fully capitalize upon our portfolio of brands and capabilities, we are aligning our sales and marketing activities within an account-driven and solution-oriented go-to-market approach that continues to place our iconic and trusted brands front and center.”
News of the reorganization comes less than a week after the company, which acquired Time Inc. earlier this year, announced its intention to sell off four tiles — Time, Fortune, Sports Illustrated and Money — and lay off 1,200 employees over the next year.
Although there is no set time table on the sale, Meredith president and ceo Tom Harty is hoping to sell within the next 60 to 120 days. Last week, during an early spring snowstorm, Meredith laid off 200 employees, including high-ranking executives such as svp of human resources and talent acquisition Bucky Keady, who confirmed the news in an Instagram post. “Time Inc., you saucy vixen, you had me for 17 years and then you went and got yourself all sold. Thank you for allowing me to work with the best talent in the industry,” Keady wrote. Other high-level svps who were let go last week include Russ Charlton, Jaison Blair, Judith Hammerman and Kurt Rao.
Meredith said that the company plans to lay off an additional 1,000 employees over the next 10 months. Those 1,000 staffers were all notified last week that they will not be retained, and given an end date over the coming months.
As part of the new structure, Meredith moves its brands back to a publisher-led system that will further integrate Time Inc. and Meredith’s lifestyle titles. Studio M, Meredith’s former branded content creation arm, will be merged into The Foundry, which moved its operations from Brooklyn’s Sunset Park to Meredith headquarters in lower Manhattan last week, and will become the central creative lab and branded/native content studio across the company, overseen by Chris Hercik, who will expand his existing role to serve as chief creative officer.
“Clients and agency partners told us that this approach best balances their needs for relevant brand, category, ad product and platform expertise — and their desire for actionable insights and analytics — within a simplified sales communication structure,” Werther said. “As clients and agency partners increasingly seek to work with fewer media companies more strategically, we believe that our portfolio of brands and capabilities — together with our go-to-market approach — positions Meredith with an unparalleled ability to drive their strategic advertising and marketing objectives.”
The company has named group publishers, many from Meredith’s ranks, who will report to Meredith Magazines president Doug Olson. Stephen Bohlinger, Giulio Capua, Laura Frerer-Schmidt, Mark Josephson, Daren Mazzucca and Carey Witmer, who will oversee the following:
- Bohlinger will continue as publisher of Better Homes & Gardens while also overseeing Family Circle, with Lee Slattery as publisher, and Southern Living and Coastal Living, with Deirdre Finnegan as publisher of both titles.
- Capua, who was publisher of Condé Nast’s Architectural Digest until October, will join Meredith in mid-April and will oversee Meredith’s portfolio of luxury titles, including Food & Wine, with Tom Bair as publisher, and Travel + Leisure, with Jay Meyer as publisher.
- Frerer-Schmidt, former publisher of Women’s Health, will be the new publisher of InStyle, and will also oversee Shape, with Ann Gobel as publisher. Frerer-Schmidt replaces Kevin Martinez, who was let go as part of the wave of layoffs last week.
- Josephson will continue as publisher of The Magnolia Journal while also overseeing Midwest Living, with Melissa Luebbe as publisher; Parents, Parents Latina, Ser Padres and Family Fun, with Steve Grune as group publisher, and Traditional Home, with Beth McDonough as publisher.
- Mazzucca will serve as publisher of Real Simple and continue to oversee Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings, with Chris Guilfoyle as publisher of both titles.
- Witmer will continue as publisher of Rachael Ray Every Day and oversee Meredith’s portfolio of food and health titles, including Cooking Light, with Denis Gallagher as publisher; Eating Well, with Tiffany Ehasz as publisher; and Health, with Brendan Smyth as publisher. A publisher of Allrecipes is expected to be named in the near future.
This new sales strategy also will apply to titles for which Meredith has announced that it will be exploring a sale. Mike Schneider has been named group publisher of Fortune and Money, reporting to Olson. Danny Lee will be publisher of Sports Illustrated and Jorg Stratman will be publisher of Time.
Cece Ryan will be publisher of People, Ellie Duque of Entertainment Weekly, and Monique Manso of People en Español — all overseen by executive vice president of People and Entertainment Weekly Bruce Gersh.