Trusted Media Brands Taps Beth Tomkiw As First Chief Content Officer

Trusted Media Brands is uniting its content teams through the appointment of Beth Tomkiw to the post of Chief Content Officer across its brands, a first for the company.

Tomkiw, who previously oversaw content for Taste of Home, formed an editorial leadership team as one of her first moves.

“This editorial brain trust will work together to set the quality bar for our teams, recognize achievements and identify ways to innovate and expand our product offerings,” Tomkiw told Publishers Daily.

The new team includes the senior-most editor of each brand: Bruce Kelley, Chief Content Officer of Reader’s Digest; Nick Grzechowiak, Chief Content Officer of Family Handyman; Jeanne Sidner, content director of Taste of Home; Kirsten Schrader, executive editor of Enthusiast Brands; and Theresa Tampkins, digital editorial director, The Healthy.

Kelly and Grzechowiak both report directly to Tomkiw going forward.

Tomkiw plans to promote further unification by centralizing communications and applying best practices across teams as they leverage shared services ahead of fiscal year 2021. She notes each team has operated as an independent unit, “so it will be smart business to look for ways to collaborate on things like book and digital edition production, for example, and potentially photo studio operations.”

Since 2017, when Tomkiw joined Taste of Home and inherited a website on an antiquated platform and small digital team, the brand has seen its footprint through re-engineering the team structure and designing operation to be digital-first.

The expansion of Taste of Home’s digital editorial team resulted in 12 editors and two designers who create 650 pieces of content a month, while the brand’s test kitchen has added a new culinary producer who tests, styles and shoots recipes geared toward online search interests.

Through these measure, Taste of Home’s monthly unique viewers jumped from 12 million in July 2017 to around 22.3 million today.

“Our social following has also grown exponentially, and we’ve introduced new newsletters focused on healthier interests, such as gluten-free and vegetarian cooking, that TOH would have never touched,” Tomkiw adds.

Tomkiw also charged a cross-discipline team with creating a new brand promise, mission and tagline that was combined with an updated logo, brand color palette, redesigned magazine and refreshed website, SIPs and books to reflect a cozy yet contemporary feel. In addition to the brand’s digital grown, Taste of Home reports steady magazine audience and an uptick in cookbook sales. The brand also expanded a line of cookware, the launch of a baking affinity group called Bakeable and the creation of an internal content agency called Trusted Studios.

“Across all of our brands, our audiences have an innate trust in our content,” said Tomkiw.

According to Tomkiw, Trusted Media Brands portfolio of publications continue to see a rise in visitors, average time-on-site, percentage of repeat visitors and content recirculation rates, with strong circulation bases for its print magazines. Nearly 100-year-old Reader’s Digest counts 3 million subscribers, while Taste of Home clocks in at 2 million. Family Handyman and Birds & Blooms each average more than 1 million.

 

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