In another high-level change at Hearst Corp., the company has elevated Steven Swartz to chief operating officer, a move that suggests he’s being groomed for the top job.
Swartz, 49, a 10-year veteran of Hearst, has a wide variety of experience that would lend itself to a broader role. He most recently was president of the newspaper division, which publishes 15 dailies in cities including Houston and San Francisco. He also has had digital and magazine oversight, and is a member of Hearst’s board.
Swartz was floated as a potential candidate for CEO of Hearst when Victor Ganzi stepped down unexpectedly from that job in 2008 (Ganzi was also the last to hold the COO job). Frank Bennack Jr. came out of retirement to fill Ganzi’s shoes, but that’s expected to be just a temporary solution, as Bennack is 78. Another executive seen as a potential successor, former magazines division head Cathie Black, has since left the company, to become New York City’s public schools chancellor.
Mark Aldam, 47, will succeed Swartz as president of Hearst Newspapers. He was named deputy group head just a year ago.