Time magazine has a whole new group of editorial leaders to take up plans for expansion under the ownership of Marc Benioff.
Coming off its first week as an independent publisher, having been bought about six months ago by Salesforce billionaire Benioff, the magazine revealed the appointment of eight new editors who were either promoted or brought in from other news organizations.
“When I think of everything we’ve been able to accomplish as a team in a year in which we were sold not once but twice,” editor in chief and now ceo Edward Felsenthal wrote in a memo to staff, “I’m filled with optimism about what is possible going forward.”
The overall goal is to expand coverage with the new backing from Benioff, who is making good on his promise to invest in the nearly 100-year-old title he bought in a personal capacity. In celebration of being an independent company and everyone making it through the transition process, $1,000 bonuses were even handed out last week to all Time employees, said to mark their role as “founders” of the new company.
One such “founder” is Sam Jacobs, a Time editor for about five years, who has been promoted to deputy editor to oversee reporting and content across the magazine and generally manage the newsroom. Felsenthal said Jacobs “has been my partner in nearly everything I’ve done since joining Time.” Eben Shapiro is also another deputy editor, but he will be working alongside Jacobs specifically on the upcoming launch of new coverage on health, business and technology, as well as on special issues of the magazine.
“Ensuring the continued excellence of our current work, while successfully expanding into new verticals, is a crucial challenge for our editorial operation, and we’re fortunate to have Sam and Eben working together to get this right,” Felsenthal added.
Elsewhere at the publication, Kelly Conniff has been promoted to executive editor, where she will manage culture coverage and lead digital news. Ben Goldberger has been promoted to executive editor and will oversee freelancers and contributors, features work and continue to lead Time’s successful “Person of the Year” franchise, which includes an annual issue and an event. Dan Macsai has also been promoted to executive editor, and will work to grow in “size and impact” Time’s franchise projects, like the annual “Time 100” lists, which is already set for a big expansion this year.
Outside hires include Tina Susman, most recently national editor at BuzzFeed, who is coming on as a senior editor, as is Lori Fradkin, most recently executive editor of Cosmopolitan’s web site. Two more internal staffers have been promoted to the senior editor role: Haley Sweetland Edwards, who will continue to lead policy coverage, and Sean Gregory, who will continue to lead sports coverage.
All of these promotions and additions to the masthead fall in line with plans by Felsenthal since Benioff signed the deal to buy Time from Meredith Corp. The editor was quickly named ceo while maintaining his editor in chief title and said hiring was imminent in order to grow Time’s staff of around 170, which had shrunk from more than 200 during the previous two years of cutbacks and layoffs. He also noted that Time as a whole, along with its print magazine, was “solidly profitable,” something that made the sale to Benioff possible, with 2 million print subscribers and a total global audience of about 100 million.
Felsenthal explained then that Time would be focused on driving consumer revenue (events and subscriptions) and scale around that, as well as around advertising. “We’ll continue to manage print and that will remain strong and profitable for a good long while,” he said.
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