New York’s media elite will be buzzing today about the sweeping reorganization at Time Inc. that gives new jobs to some of the industry’s A-list names.
Rich Battista — who once ran Fox’s National Cable Networks and Gemstar-TV Guide — was named President of Brands. He’ll oversee everything from editorial to marketing, PR, and Time Inc. Video.
New Chief Content Officer Alan Murray, who had been editor of Fortune, will report to Battista. Murray replaces Norm Pearlstine, the longtime Wall Street Journal editor and Bloomberg exec who now becomes Time Inc’s Vice Chairman.
Murray will oversee editorial at all of the company’s U.S. titles including Time, Sports Illustrated, People, Entertainment Weekly, Fortune, and Money.
He will sustain the “commitment to quality journalism and storytelling,” CEO Joe Ripp says. “At the same time, he will lead our editorial efforts to grow audiences in every format and on every platform, with particular emphasis on mobile, social and video.”
Pearlstine, who reports to Ripp, will “focus on international growth
opportunities for our brands and content, as well as other projects,” the CEO says.
And ad sales will be under Mark Ford, the Chief Revenue Officer Global Advertising. The group will be divided into Category Sales, Brand Sales, and Digital.
Ripp says that the new plan will enable execs to “efficiently work across all brands as One Time Inc. and more easily provide creative solutions to marketers. I am confident that our new structure will enable us to benefit from many new, extraordinary opportunities ahead.”
EVP Evelyn Webster, who ran business operations and strategy at 20 of the company’s brands, will leave at the end of August.
Although Time didn’t put a number on how much it might save, or revenue it might generate, the changes are “consistent with management’s prior comments about moving to a category structure to help advertisers buy across Time’s brands–rather than having a dedicated sales team for each individual brand,” Wells Fargo Securities’ Eric Katz says.
The changes come a little more than two years after Time Warner spun off the magazine operation operation that Henry Luce launched in 1922. Since becoming independent Time Inc’s stock has lost nearly 23% of its value — and is off more than 29% over the last 12 months.
Time Warner had failed to invest in print for about a decade before the spinoff, Ripp told analysts in May. “So we’re looking at the opportunities to bring new services and content into the company, to bring new capabilities into the company.”
And much like in the early days of cable TV, he says, there’s “a new land grab going on and it’s in digital video, over-the-top video and Time Inc. is going to be a major player in that space.”