Rodale Makes Digital Hire

New gm to hatch e-commerce products

Health and fitness publisher Rodale is bringing in a new executive to oversee the digital division it created as part of an October shake-up.

Former Barnes & Noble gm Anthony Astarita will become Rodale's general manager of digital and new brand development, one of three divisions CEO Maria Rodale created in a reorg at her family’s company.

This is the first big hire in some time at Rodale, parent of such brands as Prevention and Men's Health, which has seen an exodus of executives since Maria Rodale took charge of the company two years ago. The latest to leave was its top salesperson, Mary Murcko

Astarita helped launch Barnes & Noble's Nook e-reader, which has become a promising distribution platform for magazines, especially those geared toward women.

Astarita is expected to be involved in the launch of major e-commerce initiatives in the coming year. Reporting to him will be Steve Madden, vp of digital product development, and Valerie Wasserman, vp of strategic alliances and brand development. Astarita starts Jan. 3 and will report to Maria Rodale.