Hearst Poaches Meredith Sales Executive

Polo called 'a great get' for Hearst

Hearst has raided Meredith's magazine unit for a senior integrated sales executive, Maureen Polo.

At Hearst, Polo will help build out its marketing services business, which kicked off with the $325 million acquisition of digital agency iCrossing last year. Polo was named marketing services business development director of Hearst Integrated Media and iCrossing, a new position. She will serve as a liaison between iCrossing and Hearst, helping sell iCrossing services to Hearst Magazines' advertising clients, especially search, social, and web development.

"She's a great get for us," Hearst Magazines senior vice president Jeff Hamill said of Polo. "iCrossing is a fast growing business all its own. The idea is to bring them closer to Hearst Magazines' best customers. There has been some [crossover], but we'd like to accelerate it."

Until recently, Polo had been managing director of Meredith 360, a division that builds custom marketing programs for clients using an array of media. Before Meredith, she worked in various sales roles at Reader’s Digest Association and Condé Nast.

Meredith, the publisher of mass women's brands like Better Homes and Gardens and Family Circle, has lost a lot of sales and marketing talent lately. Just a few weeks ago, Georgine Anton, its senior vice president of integrated marketing, defected to The Atlantic Media Co.

Polo and Anton join a string of executives who have left the mass women’s magazine powerhouse in the past several months. A year ago, Meredith had a change at the top when Tom Harty succeeded Jack Griffin as head of its magazine unit, called the National Media Group.

Also moving on from Meredith is digital executive Caroline Marks, who was named CEO of Bookish, a new platform launched by Hachette Book Group, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster. At Meredith, Marks was a digital general manager who oversaw strategy for Parents.com, divinecaroline.com, and social/lifestyle content. She was general manager of The Daily Beast before that.