Times have been tough for print magazines and newspapers, who are struggling to retain readers and advertisers in recent years. In a truly symbolic development that reflects this new era, Hearst Magazines is putting its hopes on a digital specialist to lead the company into the future.
Last Wednesday, Hearst Magazines, one of the world’s largest magazine publishers, named Troy Young, 50, as its president, effective immediately, The New York Times reports. Young spent nearly five years running the company’s digital media division and will now take over David Carey’s old job of running the company that produces magazines like Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar and Cosmopolitan, the 57-year-old Carey started as the head of Hearst Magazines in 2010 and will stay on as its chairman through the end of 2019, according to The New York Times.
“Troy has done an outstanding job building our world-class digital business,” Steven R. Swartz, the president and chief executive of Hearst’s corporate parent, Hearst Communications, said in a statement. “He brings great skill and enthusiasm to this new challenge, leading our global magazine brands, in print and digital form, to ever higher levels of editorial and commercial excellence.”
Young shook up the corporate structure at Hearst Magazines in a way that would have the digital teams responsible for content creation for the magazines’ websites reported to him, whereas before, they reported to the editors of the individual, respective titles. Over the past few years, Hearst’s multiplatform unique viewership has nearly doubled. The company made a splash in the heart of the Big Apple when it opened a 26,000-square-foot production studio near the Hearst Tower in midtown, The New York Times reports.
“Troy understands how vital it is for our brands to engage more actively with consumers across platforms,” Mark E. Aldam, Hearst Communications’ chief operating officer, said in a statement.
Last October, the company agreed to acquire Rodale, the publisher of Men’s Health, Runner’s World and Prevention, among other magazines, The New York Times reports, adding that the deal was finalized last January.
Young steps into his new role at a time when the magazine industry continues to struggle down a slippery slope. The company, which was founded by William Randolph Hearst in 1887, one of the most powerful and notorious media moguls of all time, shows that even the mightiest of publications are vulnerable to change. Before its acquisition by Meredith Corporation, Time Inc. had lost revenue every year since 2011, according to The New York Times.
Another large magazine publisher, located at One World Trade, Condé Nast, the publisher of The New Yorker, Vogue and Vanity Fair, got rid of 80 employees last year while also reducing the frequency of certain magazines’ print editions. It also discontinued Teen Vogue.
“Hearst Magazines is an extraordinary content company, well positioned to thrive in today’s media ecosystem,” Young said in a statement. “Our powerful brands are part of consumers’ daily lives on every medium, from print to voice to video, and we’re serving consumers and marketers with increasing engagement and precision across platforms.”
By: William Lunden