YAHOO’S MEDIA MAVEN: With all its recent editorial expansion, Yahoo said Tuesday that it tapped Susan Kittenplan as executive editor of media initiatives.
This story first appeared in the April 23, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Kittenplan, who started at Yahoo on March 31, oversees editorial strategy and works closely with the Web firm’s top editors to develop its new digital magazines. This includes devising interactive features in photography, social content and native advertising, the company said.
Yahoo is in the process of relaunching a series of verticals or digital magazines, and it has added some big name editors to helm those sites over the past three months. The hires have included Joe Zee for fashion, Bobbi Brown for beauty, Paula Froelich for travel, Josh Wolk for entertainment, David Pogue for technology, Matt Bai for news, Sarah McColl for food and Katie Couric as global anchor. According to the company, more big hires are in the pipeline for other magazines.
Kittenplan, who comes to Yahoo from her own company Catalyst LLC and, before that, Condé Nast, where she held editorial jobs at various publications, said she’s currently focusing on staffing.
“At the moment, I’m helping all the editors with their staffing…then brainstorming, then bringing in freelancers and then writing headlines,” she said, noting that her job is similar to that of an editorial director.
Kittenplan, who worked as senior editor at GQ, deputy editor at Glamour, and associate editor and researcher at Vanity Fair, said she would take her story packaging skills to the multidimensional world of digital as she reimagines ways to present stories for the Web and mobile devices.
Asked what her biggest challenge will be in making Yahoo a successful publisher of editorial content, she said: “The challenge is not just making going to Yahoo a daily habit, but it’s that you are going to come to these places [verticals] as pods of expertise.”