LONDON, United Kingdom — The British arm of publishing giant Hearst may cut 20 to 40 jobs across its editorial and commercial departments as part of a strategic proposal to combine teams in an effort to drive more collaboration, BoF has learned.
In an internal email seen by BoF, the changes will see six of its editors replaced by two group editorial directors. More than 20 roles are at risk, with a maximum of 40 roles under consideration.
The proposals were announced to staff earlier this week and are a result of an ongoing strategic review of the business, according to market sources.
"We are proposing a number of changes to both our editorial and commercial teams to ensure that our brands are in the best shape possible for the future and to allow us to develop more content in key areas where we see an opportunity for growth,” the company said in an emailed statement.
“As a result we do expect a number of people to leave the business, but we won’t know until the end of the consultation process what that number will be. Hearst UK prides itself on transparent communication coupled with a sensitive approach and we will ensure that everyone is supported with great care."
Hearst UK plans to create two divisions within its business, one that oversees its luxury and young women brands, like Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Cosmopolitan and Esquire as well as its joint venture with Rodale, which focuses on health and wellbeing titles like Men’s Health, Women’s Health and Runner’s World. Its luxury division will now be lead by Duncan Chater, who is currently the company’s chief revenue officer.
The other division will comprise its lifestyle and homes titles, led by Sharon Douglas, who currently holds the title of group publishing director of its lifestyle group. The two divisions are expected to help Hearst UK create clear synergies between the content that it produces, the audiences it serves and the advertising categories that it works with, a source close to the company told BoF.
The news comes just 10 weeks after James Wildman began as president and chief executive officer at Hearst UK, replacing Anna Jones who left the company in February.
If the proposal goes ahead, it would follow a similar restructuring of departments at Hearst in the United States, which saw the media giant combine its beauty, fashion and entertainment departments at print titles Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Redbook, Woman's Day and Good Housekeeping at the end of last year.
The wider magazine industry has seen similar consolidation and cost-cutting at several major publishers, including Condé Nast and Time Inc. which have announced sweeping reorganisations across their businesses over the past year.