Former Redbook editor-in-chief Stacy Morrison has landed, like so many print veterans, in the digital world. Morrison was named editor in chief of BlogHer.com, a media company for women bloggers. She starts her new job Jan. 1.
BlogHer was founded in 2005 by Lisa Stone, a former CNN journalist and BlogHer’s CEO; marketer Elisa Camahort Page and online maven Jory Des Jardins. It publishes 3,000 contributors in an ad revenue-sharing arrangement and hosts conferences for women in social media. Investors are Venrock, GE/NBC Universal’s Peacock Equity Fund, and Azure Capital Partners.
Morrison was introduced to Stone a few years ago while she was at Hearst’s Redbook and had launched a blog platform for the magazine’s site. “I got a phone call from her,” Morrison recalled. “She goes, ‘You just launched all these blogs and you’re paying them, and you’re not even moderating their comments. Who are you?’ Because at the time, big companies were still concerned about the idea that people could write whatever.”
In April 2010, Morrison resigned from Redbook to take care of her ailing (and since deceased) parents, but stayed in touch with Stone, eventually consulting to the company and launching its motherhood channel, BlogHerMoms.
“I got sucked into how much depth there is in the BlogHer business,” she said. “It’s strategy, new business models, new media models, voices, community.”
Morrison said she plans to focus on developing new publishing products for BlogHer’s contributors and extending the site’s reach to a broader audience of bloggers. She’ll oversee a staff of three full-timers and a dozen or so part-timers, smaller than what she’s used to at Redbook (and Marie Claire and Modern Bride before that).
While Morrison says she misses some aspects of the glossy magazine world, like producing dazzling photo shoots and polished story packages, she’s drawn to the authenticity of blogs.
“The conversation I see women having at this level is surprisingly direct,” she said. “Challenges are a normal part of life. One of the things I love about magazines is, you can package [them] in a way that’s inspiring. But there is a level of connectivity you can have on the Internet that you cannot have in the printed world.”