Norman Pearlstine Opens Up

Norman Pearlstine, Time Inc.’s chief content officer, is not afraid to speak his mind. When Time began selling ads on its cover, Pearlstine brushed aside the notion that the practice was a bad thing, even though it broke ASME’s number one guideline.

In a wide-ranging interview with WWD, Pearlstine shares some more thoughts about the industry. Below are a few highlights, but be sure to read the entire piece.

On the future of Time, EW, SI and People:

You can’t just reprise the news. You have to have journalism that makes a point and you have to be in sync with your audience. When I think about Sports Illustrated, when I think about People, Entertainment Weekly, Time — all four of them have editors who are very much in touch with their readers and that’s a comfort to me.

On replacing Andy Serwer, Fortune’s longtime editor, with Alan Murray:

In general, I think eight, nine years is a long time. These are grinding jobs to remain fresh and so on. If you think about where Fortune is now, having just gotten back its Web site, there is a major transformation that we need to do. It’s a multiyear project and I think there’s a great argument to be had for bringing in a new editor with fresh eyes. I don’t think Andy would have imagined himself staying in the job another four years or so. In our conversations, there was kind of a presumption that would not be the case, so when a talent like Alan Murray was available, it made sense to move at this time.

On Time Inc. forging ahead as an independent company:

We are not shy about acknowledging the headwinds that any company that is as dependent on print revenue as we are has to face. We have to move quickly to become a far more diversified company that finds revenues by developing these brands across multiple platforms and creating new brands that grow out of a better understanding of this huge customer base that we have.