Hearst Drops "Publisher" Title At Elle Decor

Once the most powerful figures in the magazine industry, publishers may soon find themselves an endangered species, as big magazine brands move to eliminate the role in favor of new, more forward-looking titles and executive org charts.


The latest big publisher to nix, well, “publisher” is Hearst, which has eliminated the traditional position at Elle Décor in addition to several other magazines, according to the New York Post, which first reported the news.

As part of the transition, Barbara Hertz Friedmann, who previously served as Hearst vice president, publisher and Chief Revenue Officer for Elle Décor, is leaving the company. The NYP notes that two other titles in Hearst’s home design group, Veranda and House Beautiful, eliminated the role of publisher several years ago.

On the business side, all three titles now come under the direction of SVP and publishing group director Kate Kelly Smith. Smith assumed her current position after being promoted from her previous role as publisher of House Beautiful back in 2011.

As noted, Hearst is just one of a number of big magazine companies getting rid of the publisher title.

Back in July, Time Inc. eliminated the role from its corporate organization as part of a broader consolidation of its sales and marketing teams. Time Inc.’s new sales structure has executives overseeing groups organized around advertising categories, brands or digital sales.

Time Inc. president and COO Mark Ellis explained the company’s move away from the title in an interview with MediaPost’s Supply-Side Insider, noting: “Everyone thought [it] was fairly antiquated, because it denoted a print-centric company. We’re moving to being a digital-first company, and we wanted the titles and sales structure to reflect that.”

2 comments about "Hearst Drops "Publisher" Title At Elle Decor".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, September 9, 2016 at 10:35 a.m.

    Except where the "publisher" is the founder of the publication or has the final say regarding editorial as well as circulation and ad sales, it is an outmoded title. In reality many "publishers" functioned mainly as chief ad sellers and promoters of the magazine, generally, so these moves, if implemented properly, are probably a major plus as now, the magazines can be seen by advertisers---and packaged together----not as separate entities but as complimentary, mutually supportive vehicles much like the individual TV series on a broadcast network's primetime lineup. Do the networks have sales managers, let alone "publishers" for each of their shows---of course not. So why should magazines---if the publisher's main job is ad selling and handling other "business" aspects, but not directing the editorial?

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, September 25, 2016 at 11:56 a.m.

    Chaos, no leadership, breeds demise.

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