Out with the old, in with the…old; four top US magazine publishers announce new CEOs

Up, down, up, flat, down…whatever statistic you want to name has been mostly down in the last month or so.  Or flat.  Take your pick.

Bloomberg News wrote August 9: “US consumer magazine circulation completed two straight years of declines, weighed down by sliding sales of READER’S DIGEST* and PLAYBOY* magazines in the first six months, Audit Bureau of Circulations data show.”

So it’s no wonder that not one, not two, not even three top US magazine publishers, but four, announced new bosses – and new directions.

On June 28, Hearst Magazines named David Carey its new president, succeeding Cathie Black, who has headed upstairs to be chairman.  Carey comes from Conde Nast, where he helped resurrect THE NEW YORKER*, but also was part of the not-so-successful PORTFOLIO launch team.

About a month later, Condé Nast announced that Robert Sauerberg was its new president.  An internal promotion, Sauerberg will now head the company while it is “charting a new strategic course.”  It will no longer be a publisher but a “consumer-centric media and entertainment company.”  The new strategic direction became clear when the company hired its first Chief Technology Officer, Joe Simon.

On August 2, Meredith Corporation said that Tom Harty was appointed president of the national media group succeeding Jack Griffin.  Also an internal hire, Harty has been involved in the company’s expansion into “emerging new consumer platforms such as mobile and eTablets.”

But don’t feel too sorry for Griffin.  He was reported a couple of days later as the new CEO of Time Inc, taking over as CEO from Ann Moore, who is remaining as chairwoman and/or retiring, depending on which news source you read.  Griffin is expected to sprinkle the same digital pixie dust over Time Inc cubicles that he so successfully scattered in Meredith’s corridors and conference rooms.

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