Todd Larsen Headed to Time Inc.

Ex-Dow Jones prez expected to head News and Sports Group

Time Inc. is expected to name Todd Larsen, the former president of Dow Jones, to a new position overseeing its news and sports titles, Adweek has learned. New CEO Laura Lang has taken her time making her mark since coming on board at the start of the year, but is expected to start rolling out changes post-Labor Day, and Larsen’s appointment could be one of the first.

Larsen left Dow Jones in June after being passed over for the CEO job, which went to Lex Fenwick. Lang has already hired two other News Corp. vets, HR exec Greg Giangrande and spokeswoman Teri Everett. 

This wouldn’t be the first time the news and sports titles (including Time, Fortune, Money and Sports Illustrated) have been mashed up (only to be separated later). Lang’s short-lived predecessor Jack Griffin broke up the group because he wanted to focus more resources on the company’s flagship brand Time. Speculation has it that Lang, however, wants to focus her energies on People, which is the engine of the company but has been sputtering lately, with advertising and circulation off sharply in the first half of the year. 

Making the Larsen appointment serves another important purpose: It paves the way for Time Inc. to name a publisher for Time, which has had a vacancy at the top since Kim Kelleher left in July.

A Larsen appointment is likely to create questions for Mark Ford, who runs Time Inc.'s sports properties but who had run the larger News and Sports Group before it was broken up. At the time, he was given a bigger title and direct reporting line to the CEO, but whether he holds on to those gains remains to be seen.