Women’s Health has promoted acting editor in chief Amy Keller Laird to the top job, editor in chief.
The news was delivered to Women’s Health’s Thursday in a late-day staff meeting.
Laird, who has served as Women’s Health’s executive editor for three years, grabs the editor in chief role, following Michele Promaulayko’s departure in August. Promaulayko left the Rodale-owned title to head up Yahoo Health.
Laird, 39, has spent much of her 16-year journalism career in the beauty industry, with the most recent pit stop at Allure where she served as the magazine’s beauty director and deputy editor for five years. She will report to Scott Schulman, president of Rodale Inc.
Laird told WWD that she plans on building off of Promaulayko’s near six-year tenure by “blowing out” coverage that melds beauty and technology and fashion and fitness.
She also plans to launch two new franchises, one on celebrities, the other on fitness, and she wants to add new “unexpected” contributors to the magazine and its Website.
“The magazine is really successful now. I plan to do a refresh but not a complete overhaul,” Laird said. We are going to grow as the magazine grows and reevaluate everything to take it to the next level.”
While most women’s magazines dipped in single-copy sales in the first half of the year, Women’s Health saw an uptick of 3.3 percent, to 310,768 copies, according to figures from the Alliance for Audited Media, which put Women’s Health’s total paid circulation at 1,537,140.
Upping the title’s social media and digital game will be a part of that, as will be mixing up the cover models. On the horizon for Laird is also the unveiling of the magazine’s ten-year anniversary issue in October 2015, which will come with a host of new partnerships with fashion, beauty and fitness companies.
Now that she’s top dog, WWD asked Laird if she has any trepidations about carrying the mantle.
The editor didn’t skip a beat: “Coming from the Midwest, I feel like you have to prove yourself a little bit more. But it has been my goal to be the editor in chief of a magazine like Women’s Health.”