Hearst Magazines Announces Sweeping Staffing Changes

More than 30 jobs are affected company wide

Hearst Magazines also made changes to the business side of operations. Getty Images
Headshot of Sara Jerde

Months after Troy Young was named president of Hearst Magazines, the company announced a series of sweeping leadership changes across brands today.

“Our magazines will always play an integral role, and we are fully committed to them. The complementary strengths of our offerings are what gives us our unique position in today’s highly competitive media marketplace,” Young said in a statement.

As a result, many editors in chief inherited digital responsibilities for their respective brands.

Richard Dorment, editor in chief of Men’s Health, will also now oversee the brand’s website; Liz Plosser, editor in chief of Women’s Health, will now oversee print and digital content for the brand; and Ryan D’Agostino, editor in chief of Popular Mechanics, will take on additional digital duties.

Meanwhile, Jessica Pels (previously digital director of the brand’s website) has been named editor in chief of Cosmopolitan. She replaces Michele Promaulayko, who is departing.

Joanna Saltz was named editorial director of House Beautiful, overseeing print and digital content across platforms. Saltz replaces Sophie Donelson, who is leaving.

Kristin Koch was named executive director of Seventeen.com and will oversee all the brand’s content. Koch replaces Joey Bartolomeo, who is exiting the company.

Steele Marcoux (previously editor in chief of Coastal Living and, before that, executive editor of Country Living) was named editor in chief of Veranda. Editorial operations for the brand will move to Birmingham, Ala.

The new leadership roles will report to Kate Lewis, who was named chief content officer shortly after Young’s appointment.

“These versatile editors are experts at creating content and experiences that engage and entertain audiences,” Lewis said in a statement. “They understand their readers in a very profound way, and they’re passionate about producing stories in all formats, on all platforms, that inform, surprise, drive conversation and create a feeling of community.”

Young has made his mark at Hearst with accomplishments in the digital space. Before his current role, he transformed the digital brand to more closely align with the print product, brought in revenue and spurred a surge in pageviews as president of Hearst Magazines Digital Media.

Young told Adweek in July, shortly after he was named to his new position, that print “remains really important” to the company and that he would consider what role it still played alongside cell phones and other digital forms of content consumption.

Hearst Magazines also made changes to the business side of operations.

Pat Haegele, senior vp, group publishing director of the Women’s Lifestyle Group (overseeing Good Housekeeping, Country Living, Woman’s Day, Redbook and Prevention), will focus on new revenue opportunities.

Jack Essig, senior vp, publishing director of Esquire and Popular Mechanics, will now also have Men’s Health, Runner’s World and Bicycling in his portfolio. Both he and Haegele will report to Michael Clinton, Hearst Magazines president, marketing and publishing director. Ronan Gardiner, vp, publishing director of Men’s Health, Bicycling and Runner’s World, will leave the company.

In all, about 35 positions were impacted company-wide due to the changes.

Also, Redbook is moving online-only after the January 2019 issue.

“Redbook has a long, proud history of informing and enlightening its audience, and it’s been part of our portfolio for more than 35 years,” Young said in a statement. “We thank the team for their dedication and contributions to the magazine.”

@SaraJerde sara.jerde@adweek.com Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.