In a Major Sales Restructuring at Time Inc., 3 Top Execs Will Focus on Specific Categories

Automotive, pharmaceuticals, tech and telecom

Time Inc. today announced a major restructuring of its sales business that has three of the company's top publishing execs moving away from day-to-day magazine roles to instead focus on specific advertising categories: auto, pharma, and tech and telecom.

Mark Ellis, who was most recently Time Inc.'s svp of corporate sales, will now oversee automotive ad sales in the newly created role of president and COO, Time Inc. sales and marketing. Greg Schumann, svp, group publishing director of Southern Living, Coastal Living and Sunset, has been named president, pharmaceuticals. And Brendan Ripp, svp, publishing director of the Sports Illustrated Group, will become president, technology and telecommunications. All three will be tasked with building new sales teams to work exclusively on their respective categories.

While magazine publishers have been increasingly packaging sales of like-minded publications (see: Condé Nast), Time Inc.'s decision to create category-specific, cross-company sales groups takes the trend of centralization even further. 

"Traditional publishers/publishing are at a pivotal point where change must occur, despite the immediate discomfort internally and externally," said Robin Steinberg, evp, publishing and digital director, investment and activation at MediaVest. "They need to leverage their resources in a smarter, more nimble and effective way to meet the demands of marketers in the current and future marketplace."

Under Time Inc.'s new structure, Ellis will report to Mark Ford, evp of global advertising, while Schumann and Ripp will report to Ellis. Neither Schumann's nor Ripp's previous magazine positions seem to be getting filled; instead, their titles' top publishing execs will now report to other higher-ups.