Time Inc. Names New President of Brands, CCO to Drive ‘Historic Transformation’

Rich Battista and Alan Murray are promoted

Rich Battista's rise at Time Inc. continues. Fifteen months after joining the company, CEO Joe Ripp has named him evp of Time Inc. and president of brands, overseeing all of the company's storied titles. 

Battista joined Time in April 2015 as president of People and Entertainment Weekly.

Ripp also announced that Alan Murray would be taking over as chief content officer from Norm Pearlstine, who will stay on as vice chairman, focusing on international growth

Murray's rise through the Time Inc. ranks was nearly as fast as Battista's. He came on to oversee Fortune magazine in 2014 after a brief stint at the Pew Research Center, which followed 10 years at The Wall Street Journal.

Murray will report to Battista on business and editorial issues, and to CEO Joe Ripp "on matters of editorial independence and journalistic integrity," Ripp wrote in a note to staffers, obtained by Adweek.

Pearlstine, who was editor in chief of Time Inc. from 1994 to 2005, returned to the company in 2013 as CCO.

In addition to the editorial restructuring, Ripp announced a host of changes as the 94-year-old company continues to evolve in the digital age—a "historic transformation," Ripp called it.

Ripp announced the creation of a dedicated digital sales team "to provide digital-first clients with scale solutions." The company will also create "clusters" for Time Inc.'s brand sales. "Our powerful brands are the cornerstone of our go-to-market strategy," he says.

All of Time Inc.'s U.S. brands will now report to Battista. As a result, after nearly 20 years at the company, evp Evelyn Webster will be leaving.

Here is Ripp's memo to staff.

One Time Inc.—Next Steps


Today we are announcing important steps that are expected to drive our historic transformation—a transformation that began with our spin-off from Time Warner two years ago.

Today's announcements are about positioning ourselves for long-term growth. A new structure will allow the organization to unlock and scale innovation while unifying processes and advertising opportunities critical to our future. Our Product, Editorial and Ad Sales leaders will be able to more efficiently work across all brands as One Time Inc. and more easily provide creative solutions to marketers. I am confident that our new structure will enable us to benefit from many new, extraordinary opportunities ahead.

The changes we are announcing today affect three broad groups: Advertising Sales, Editorial and Brand Development.

Advertising Sales—Effective immediately, Time Inc.'s US advertising sales organization will report to Mark Ford, Chief Revenue Officer Global Advertising. The new sales structure will be configured to serve the advertising market in three distinct ways:

• Category Sales—We are extending our category approach to include all of our largest partners. This change will make it easier for our clients to buy across our portfolio, and we will provide them with 360-degree solutions (e.g., native, targeting, live media).

• Brand Sales—Our powerful brands are the cornerstone of our go-to-market strategy. We are creating clusters to efficiently serve endemic/brand advertisers with premium content solutions.

• Digital—We are establishing dedicated digital sales teams to provide digital-first clients with scale solutions. They will provide digital expertise and support to Category and Brand Sales.

Time Inc.'s US sales planning, sales marketing and development teams, which previously supported corporate and brand sales, will also move into Mark Ford's organization.

Time Inc.'s creative studio, The Foundry, will now be led by Jen Wong, President of Time Inc. Digital. Increasingly, CMOs want to speak to their customers in the same way that Time Inc. talks to its audiences. The Foundry, our state-of-the-art creative lab and content studio in Brooklyn's Industry City, brings the full potential of Time Inc.'s storytelling expertise, editorial know-how and creative spirit to help brands tackle their most demanding marketing challenges. We believe branded content and native advertising solutions present a large-scale opportunity for Time Inc.

Editorial—Alan Murray, editor of Fortune, will succeed Norman Pearlstine as Time Inc.'s Chief Content Officer. All Time Inc. US editors will report to Alan. Under his leadership, we will maintain our commitment to quality journalism and storytelling. At the same time, Alan will lead our editorial efforts to grow audiences in every format and on every platform, with particular emphasis on mobile, social and video. Alan will report to Rich Battista on business and editorial matters and to me on matters of editorial independence and journalistic integrity. He will continue to serve as the editor of Fortune until his successor has been named.

Norm Pearlstine will continue to work at Time Inc., reporting to me as Vice Chairman. Norm returned to Time Inc. soon after I did to work on the spinoff from Time Warner and to help break down historic barriers, enabling editors to collaborate more closely with business-side colleagues. With that work largely behind him, in his new position, Norm will focus on international growth opportunities for Time Inc.'s brands and content and other projects.

Brand Development—All of Time Inc.'s US brands will now report to Rich Battista as EVP, Time Inc. and President, Brands. In this role, Rich, will be the primary brand steward, overseeing brand editorial, development, marketing, public relations, operations and strategy, as well as Time Inc. Video. Rich will continue to do the work he started at People, Entertainment Weekly and Sports Illustrated to transition our brands to become true multimedia, multi-platform businesses and to introduce an entrepreneurial spirit and investment culture into the organization. We believe that if we nurture our brands, they will endure and grow.

Evelyn Webster, who has served Time Inc. as Executive Vice President since 2011, will be leaving the company at the end of August. Evelyn has been a vital member of the Time Inc. team for more than two decades. At Time Inc. UK, she rose through the organization to become CEO. More recently, she led business operations for 20 US brands that reached more than 100 million consumers. We thank Evelyn for her many contributions throughout her years of service to Time Inc.

I know that many of you have questions. In the coming days, you will receive more information from Mark, Jen, Alan and Rich about their organizations. Also, we will be hosting town hall meetings throughout the day today to discuss these changes. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me with any questions.

There is tremendous energy and creativity at Time Inc. With our new structure and our incredible talent, I am certain that our best days lie ahead.


@ChrisAriens chris.ariens@adweek.com Chris Ariens is the managing editor and director of video at Adweek.