As O, The Oprah Magazine transitions from a monthly publication into a quarterly with a renewed focus on digital, its new leadership team has been revealed.
Alison Overholt has been named general manager, a newly created role, and will oversee content, brand management, membership strategy, e-commerce and audience development for what publisher Hearst describes as a “multiplatform lifestyle brand,” while Arianna Davis has been promoted to senior director of editorial and strategy, also a new position.
Overholt joins from ESPN, where she was most recently senior vice president of multiplatform storytelling and journalism, and Davis, who will report to Overholt, was previously digital director of OprahMag.com.
“From my first conversation with Alison, it was clear that she understands who we are and what we want to be for our readers: an inspiring, informative, authentic presence in their lives. With Gayle, Adam, Arianna, Leigh and the whole team, we will continue to fulfill our ‘live your best life’ mission,” said Oprah Winfrey.
Her statement also revealed that Gayle King, Adam Glassman and Leigh Haber will be remaining with the brand. King, one of the hosts of CBS “This Morning” has long been editor at large at O, while Glassman is creative director and Haber books editor.
The shrinking of the print publication resulted in 59 staffers being laid off, but it was not known exactly which positions were impacted. More recently, O’s longtime editor in chief Lucy Kaylin was named vice president of print content of Hearst’s magazines division.
As well as the new appointments, Hearst, which runs O in partnership with Winfrey, said the next iteration of the brand will include a new name, reimagined website and a membership program offering unrestricted access to all-new digital content, a searchable digital archive of past issues of O, The Oprah Magazine, a weekly newsletter and a print publication that will debut in late March.
Until now, O has not had a paywall, but memberships have increasingly become part of Hearst’s business strategy amid the pandemic. Similar programs have also been recently unveiled at Good Housekeeping, Women’s Health and Bicycling, while Runner’s World has had one since 2019.
Winfrey began her partnership with Hearst Magazines to produce the title in 2000. It claims to have a print audience of 10 million and 7.8 million unique visitors to Oprahmag.com. The latter has increased by 608 percent over the past year.
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