House Beautiful Names New Editor in Chief

Sophie Donelson recently consulted with e-commerce, lifestyle brands

Hearst Magazines has finally found a replacement for House Beautiful editor in chief Newell Turner, who announced plans to step down more than two years ago when he was made editorial director of the company's Design Group. Today, the publisher named Sophie Donelson, a shelter magazine and lifestyle brand veteran, as the magazine's new top editor.

Recently, Donelson has worked mostly on the brand side of publishing as a consultant for lifestyle startups. For the past year and a half, she was brand director at Cricket's Circle, an editorial and e-commerce site for new parents. Previously, she was editorial director of the (recently shuttered) womenswear and home décor brand C. Wonder.

Earlier in her career, Donelson held editor and writer positions at shelter publications including Elle Décor, Blueprint, Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, and Curbed, in addition to freelancing for magazines like House Beautiful. Since 2009, she has also hosted a video series for the design industry website The Editor at Large.

With a total circulation of 830,237, House Beautiful is Hearst's largest shelter brand (discounting the massive HGTV Magazine, which does not fall under the Design Group). While the magazine's circulation remained mostly flat in the first half of 2014, per the Alliance for Audited Media, its audience has seen significant growth. As of November 2014, the magazine had an audience of about 7.5 million people across print, digital and mobile—a nearly 10 percent increase year over year—according to MPA, The Association of Magazine Media.

Newell Turner had been the editor of House Beautiful since 2010. Turner later handled oversight of the entire Hearst Design Group (which includes Elle Décor and Veranda) when its editorial departments were consolidated in 2012. (The group's publishing sides had merged the previous year.)

Sophie Donelson is House Beautiful's new editor in chief.