WWD has obtained a memo to staff from Time Inc. chairman and chief executive officer Joe Ripp on how the company will position itself for “long-term growth.”
This includes the departure of executive vice president Evelyn Webster, who at one time had a hold on many of the company’s titles. Now all brands will report to her counterpart, executive vice president Rich Battista. The changes also include the ascension of Fortune editor Alan Murray to the role of chief content officer, which was previously held by Norman Pearlstine.
“A new structure will allow the organization to unlock and scale innovation while unifying processes and advertising opportunities critical to our future,” Ripp said. “Our product, editorial and ad sales leaders will be able to more efficiently work across all brands as One Time Inc. and more easily provide creative solutions to marketers.”
In order to achieve this, Time Inc. will reorganize its advertising sales, editorial and brand development groups. Now the U.S. ad sales team will report to chief revenue officer of global advertising, Mark Ford. The team will be divided into three sub-groups — category sales, brand sales and digital. Category sales includes Time Inc.’s largest ad partners, allowing them to buy across its portfolio of titles. This includes “360-degree” solutions, such as native, targeting and live media.
Brand sales will comprise a go-to market strategy that serves endemic/brand advertisers, while the digital team will support brand and category sales in the online channel.
Ford will also oversee the U.S. sales planning, sales marketing and development teams.
All U.S. editors will report to Murray, who will lead editorial efforts to grow Time Inc.’s audience across platforms. He will report to Battista “on business and editorial matters and to me on matters of editorial independence and journalistic integrity,” Ripp said.
Pearlstine will continue to work at Time Inc. in the role of vice chairman, where he will focus on international growth opportunities and other projects.
As a result, Battista will oversee all brands in the title of executive vice president and president of brands. Before, Battista and Webster split oversight of Time Inc.’s various titles, with Battista focusing on marquee brands, such as People and Sport Illustrated.
“In this role, Rich, will be the primary brand steward, overseeing brand editorial, development, marketing, public relations, operations and strategy, as well as Time Inc. Video,” Ripp said. “Rich will continue to do the work he started at People, Entertainment Weekly and Sports Illustrated to transition our brands to become true multimedia, multiplatform businesses and to introduce an entrepreneurial spirit and investment culture into the organization. We believe that if we nurture our brands, they will endure and grow.”
The promotion means Webster will be out at the company by the end of August. A two-decade Time Inc. veteran, Webster, at one point had served as ceo of Time Inc. U.K.
Ripp said the company will be holding town hall meetings today for employees to learn more about the changes.