Time Inc. Reorganizes Into 4 Distinct Brand Groups

With the level of disruption in the media business, staying ahead of the competition is painful. Time is trying to move as nimbly as possible, but continues to struggle to be more relevant in more channels. This is a good move for them!

The news cycle isn’t slowing down at Time Inc., which just a week after announcing a major restructuring, is reorganizing its editorial division. Today in an internal memo, chief content officer Alan Murray told staffers that all the company’s titles will be divided into four different groups, each led by a dedicated editorial director that will report directly to Murray.

Nancy Gibbs has been named editorial director for the company’s News Group, which includes Time, Fortune, Money, Time for Kids and Motto, and will also remain editor of Time.

Jess Cagle will oversee the Entertainment and Style Group, which includes People, Entertainment Weekly, InStyle, StyleWatch, People en Español, Essence, Instant and xoJane, in addition to his current duties as editorial director of People and EW.

Chris Stone will continue to be editorial director of the Sports Group (a position that he earned in early June), which includes include Sports Illustrated, Golf and SI Kids.

Lastly, Travel + Leisure editor Nathan Lump will also become editorial director of the Lifestyle Group, which includes Real Simple, Southern Living, Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, Sunset, Coastal Living, Health, Cooking Light, Cozi and MyRecipes. (Departures, however, won’t be part of the mix; its editor Richard Story will report directly to Murray.)
The role of Time Inc. editorial director (and, in effect, Murray’s deputy) will be filled by Michael Duffy, who is also Time’s deputy managing editor.

Murray is also naming two editors to head up the groups’ digital sides. People and EW’s Will Lee will be the digital editorial director for the Celebrity, Entertainment and Style and Sports groups, while Time’s Edward Felsenthal will take the News and Lifestyle groups. Lee and Felsenthal will report to Cagle and Gibbs, respectively.

“The way you approach the world of magazines and the way you approach the digital world don’t necessarily map out one to one, so this really gives us the opportunity to be smart about how we reach our audiences on mobile and social platforms and how we create products that really work well on those platforms,” Murray told Adweek.

In order to take some of the pressure off of the multiple-hat-wearing editors, Murray is dividing oversight of edit operations and finance between two new positions. “I don’t want the editorial directors to be spending a lot of time worrying about budgets and operational details,” said Murray. “I want them to be looking for the big opportunities.
As a result, Alex Brez, the current director of operations at People and EW, will become editorial operations and finance director for the Celebrity, Entertainment and Style and Sports groups, while Clare McHugh, who heads up Health and Time Inc.’s food studios in Birmingham, Ala., will take the News and Lifestyle groups.

In creating this new structure, Murray explained, “One of the things I’ve found since taking this job is that we haven’t developed very good ways to share practices across all the titles and we haven’t had mechanisms to think about how titles can work together to maximum benefit, so this is really a big opportunity for us to think about how we take this collection of brands and think about how we put them together to capture audiences wherever they want our content.”

Meanwhile, Murray also named an interim successor for InStyle editor Ariel Foxman, who announced his exit earlier this week. Lisa Arbetter, editor of StyleWatch, will take over for Foxman while the company searches for his permanent replacement.

Source: AdWeek July 22, 2016