Time Inc. Appoints Executive Editors; Huey Calls it ‘New Kind’ of Management Team

scott_mowbray_time_inc.jpgAfter four months “to examine” the needs of Time Inc., editor-in-chief John Huey today announced the appointment of a pair of executive editors &#151 Scott Mowbray [left] and Sheryl Hilliard Tucker — and a “new kind of central editorial management team.” Mowbray, editorial director of Time4Media, and Tucker, Time Inc. editor-at-large and acting deputy editor of Health, will report to Huey, taking on varied responsibilities that were once part of outgoing corporate editor Isolde Motley‘s post.

Huey writes:

The days when a handful of very senior editors could oversee a handful of magazines in a very hierarchical, top-down way are long gone, and we should address that reality in our management structure as we move forward.

Huey also addresses the Time Inc. job cuts, and says they were “devoid of politics”:

During the last few months of transition, which have involved a very difficult focus on cost cutting, Isolde has been an invaluable partner to me, helping to develop and guide a process that insured we made the necessary cuts in a fair and equitable way, virtually devoid of politics.

The full memo to Time Inc. employees:


April 21, 2006
To: Time Inc. Staff
From: John Huey
Re: Staff Announcement

By now we all know that Isolde Motley will be stepping down as Time Inc.’s corporate editor in June. We are also quite familiar with the more public achievements of her career here—from founding editor of Martha Stewart Living to founding editor of This Old House to the guiding hand that helped lead Real Simple to its current success. But from the day Dick Stolley hired her in 1990, Isolde—in a variety of behind-the-scenes roles—has given Time Inc. much, much more.

She has been a tireless champion of diversity, both in the makeup of our work force and as reflected in our content. She has been a valuable counselor and liaison to numerous of our magazines located outside the Time &Life Building, including Southern Progress, IPC, and, most recently, Grupo Expansion. She has been instrumental in helping Essence find a comfortable home at Time Inc. She has been a keen-eyed talent scout, mining her broad network of contacts to help us attract the likes of Scott Mowbray, Bill Shapiro, Kristin van Ogtrop, and many, many more.

Beyond that, Isolde and I have had a virtually seamless relationship working together on the 34th floor now for almost five years. During the last few months of transition, which have involved a very difficult focus on cost cutting, Isolde has been an invaluable partner to me, helping to develop and guide a process that insured we made the necessary cuts in a fair and equitable way, virtually devoid of politics.

For all of that, I am grateful to Isolde, and I will miss her collaboration and her dry wit.

Looking ahead, it is clear to me that it’s time to rethink the way we organize our efforts on 34 to address more effectively and efficiently the size and complexity of our editorial portfolio. The days when a handful of very senior editors could oversee a handful of magazines in a very hierarchical, top-down way are long gone, and we should address that reality in our management structure as we move forward.

The headline here is that, having had four months to examine the needs of both the titles and of Time Inc., I do not currently plan to replace either myself as editorial director or Isolde as corporate editor. But I do plan to delegate many of the tasks we traditionally performed to a new kind of central editorial management team.

With all this in mind, I am delighted to announce the appointments of Scott Mowbray and Sheryl Hilliard Tucker as executive editors, Time Inc., effective immediately.

In addition to working closely with me, these two will be available to the editors of the magazines. They will be able to assist in everything from reader research projects to redesigns, restructurings, and launches. At times they may be posted to individual titles, on staff, doing everything from substituting for an editor to implementing new approaches. In some cases, they may be doing something as simple as learning the way one magazine does something particularly well and then sharing that information with others.

Scott, who is currently editorial director of Time4Media, will continue to oversee the content and editorial personnel of those 16 magazines. Sheryl, currently a Time Inc. editor-at-large, has spent the last several months as acting deputy editor of Health magazine. She will probably continue to help out there for awhile, and she may well take on other such assignments.

The Time Inc. magazines will now all report directly to me. As mentioned, the Time4Media titles will continue to report to Scott, the Southern Progress titles to Jeanetta Keller, and the IPC titles to Mike Soutar.

As to the two new executive editors, they couldn’t be better qualified for their new assignments.

Scott was Managing Editor of Custom Publishing at Time Inc. through five years of rapid growth, before moving to Editor of Popular Science. There he performed a spectacular overhaul of the magazine, winning an ASME award for general excellence in his second year. After PopSci he became Editorial Director of Time4. The division’s 16 magazines have had five ASME nominations and another win since 2005. Newsstand is up at four of the division’s largest titles. Major redesigns have been completed at eight titles under his direction, and Scott has spent a great amount of time successfully convincing editors and art directors to share expertise across magazines. In addition to being an inspiring magazine maker, he is a superb administrator and manager.

Before her appointment as Editor-at-Large, Sheryl was executive editor of Money, where she managed some of the magazine’s most important franchises, and was one of the key architects of the very successful 2005 redesign. In addition, she is Money’s liaison to the NFL, and the keynote speaker at the annual financial boot camp for NFL rookies. Before joining Time Inc., Sheryl was Editor-in-Chief and vice president at Black Enterprise. She has edited several books, including Prime Time: African American Women’s Guide to Midlife Health and Wellness, and she is co-author of the recently published book Tomorrow Begins Today: African American Women as We Age. Sheryl is an outstanding manager with a talent for serious multitasking. She is one of those people who gets things done well and on time and with a minimum of fuss.

In addition to working at and on magazines in her new position, Sheryl will focus on talent management and will also be responsible for implementing a formal and ongoing audit of content diversity in all of our titles.

Please join me in congratulating Sheryl and Scott in their new positions. I believe they will instantly become a valuable resource to me and to all of you running the titles.

J. H.