NEW YORK, United States — Hearst Magazines announced several changes to senior leadership on Wednesday in a first wave of organizational reconfiguration under Troy Young. The new president is installing single editorial leaders, with oversight across print and digital, at seven Hearst titles: Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, House Beautiful and Veranda, as well as the recently acquired Rodale titles Popular Mechanics, Men’s Health and Women’s Health. In addition, Hearst announced that Redbook will become a digital-only publication after the release of the January 2019 issue. About 40 people across the organization were laid off.
In his previous role as president of Hearst Digital Media, Young separated the company’s online teams from their print counterparts, forming a new multi-brand digital group as part of a drive to encourage resource, content and data sharing across brands. But as Young told BoF in September, he sees under-exploited synergies between the print and digital arms of the businesses as Hearst works to manage the decline of print advertising revenue and a competitive digital advertising market dominated by Google and Facebook.
“Our teams are embracing cross-platform brand alignment, which will foster even greater idea sharing, more ambitious content creation and the development of strategic business initiatives, all of which benefit our audience, both consumer and commercial,” said Young in a statement on Wednesday. “As we continue to evolve, we will combine editorial intuition with audience insights and data to create unique and purposeful experiences for our readers.”
The new editorial leaders at each brand were sourced internally and include Cosmopolitan’s digital director Jessica Pels, now editor-in-chief of the title across print, digital, social media and video. The magazine’s editor-in-chief Michele Promaulayko, who has held that role since 2016, will leave the company as a result. Pels came to Cosmopolitan.com as digital director in January 2018 after leading MarieClaire.com since 2014. Cosmopolitan is Hearst’s third largest magazine by circulation, which averaged 3 million copies per month in 2018 according to the Alliance for Audited Media. Its website attracted 26 million unique visitors in May according to ComScore, up 105 percent year over year.
Digital editors are also taking the top roles at Seventeen and House Beautiful, now led by Kristin Koch and Joanna Saltz, respectively. Seventeen’s executive editor Joey Bartolomeo and House Beautiful’s editor-in-chief Sophie Donelson will exit as a result. At the Rodale titles impacted by these changes, print leaders are taking the top roles, including Richard Dorment at Men’s Health, Liz Plosser at Women’s Health and Ryan D’Agostino at Popular Mechanics.
The newly installed editorial leaders will all report to chief content officer Kate Lewis, who succeeded Joanna Coles in that position in September. Previously, print leaders at Women’s Health and Seventeen reported Cosmopolitan’s Promaulayko, one of several content groups at the publisher.
Young announced changes on the business side of the organization as well.
Pat Haegele, the publishing director of the Women’s Lifestyle Group (Good Housekeeping, Country Living, Woman’s Day, Redbook and Prevention), will now also work on strategy aimed at generating new revenue opportunities. Jack Essig, the publishing director of Esquire and Popular Mechanics, will also oversee Men’s Health, Runner’s World and Bicycling, titles previously lead by publishing director Ronan Gardiner, who is exiting the company.
In the less than three months since Young became president of Hearst Magazines, he has also established new groups working across print and digital divisions focused on editorial research, visual asset production and audience data.