Time Inc. Nixes the Role of Publisher in Ad Sales Reorganization

New groups will focus on ad categories, brands or digital

The publisher title is no more at Time Inc., which today is continuing to shake things up in its top ranks. This afternoon in a memo to staffers, chief revenue officer and evp, global advertising Mark Ford unveiled a new sales structure that has the company's top executives overseeing groups organized around advertising categories, brands or digital sales rather than on individual titles.

"This is really about organizing around the way customers are buying today," said Time Inc. sales and marketing president and COO Mark Ellis, to whom all of the newly appointed category, brand and digital leaders will report. "We talked to a lot of our customers over the last year or so and what we found out is that they want us to know their businesses better, they want data and insights and they really want one-stop shopping for the most part … Before, we had been going at them with 25 different sales and marketing teams and they really didn't have the bandwidth."

The reorganization process began earlier this year when Time Inc. tapped three of its publishers to lead new groups focused on ad sales in specific categories. Sports Illustrated Group publisher Brendan Ripp was named head of technology and telecommunications, lifestyle group publisher Greg Schumann was given the pharmaceutical category, and svp of corporate sales Mark Ellis took automotive sales in addition to being named president and COO, Time Inc. sales and marketing.

Today, four new category groups were added. Karen Kovacs, the group publisher of People and Entertainment Weekly, will oversee food and beverage category; Lauren Newman, Ellis' successor as svp, corporate sales, will lead the beauty category; Ripp will add oversight of financial services; and Schumann will add retail. In addition, svp, automotive, Rick Simmons will now oversee the auto group.

On the brand side, all of Time Inc.'s magazine and digital assets have been organized into eight different groups, each of which will have a dedicated brand sales team and brand director focused on their group's endemic advertisers. The news and finance, sports and lifestyle groups will be managed by Charlie Kammerer, formerly Time Inc. lifestyle president; the fashion and style, multicultural and shelter groups will be led by Southern Living publisher Ron King; and Ellis will temporarily manage the entertainment and luxury groups until a brand group leader is appointed.

The digital sides of each brand's sales teams are also being consolidated into a centralized digital sales group, which will be overseen by Sports Illustrated Group publisher Brad Elders. The group will be in charge of prospecting digital-only non-Time Inc. advertisers as well as working with the category and brand teams.

Two executives are leaving the company in the shuffle: Managing director and global head of agency development Greg McCastle, and Kevin White, group publisher of Cooking Light, Health and MyRecipes.

Time Inc.'s decision to move away from the publisher designation will put it more in line with the modern media landscape, explained Ellis. "The publisher role has really evolved to being a head of sales for the brand, and we still have that," he said, "but the publisher name is a bit antiquated for what the role is today."