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Cosmo Editor-In-Chief Out As Hearst Announces Major Changes To Editorial Staff

Hearst Magazines announced big changes to its editorial staff on Wednesday, including the ouster of three top editors.

In internal communications obtained by HuffPost, the company announced the ouster of Michele Promaulayko, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan; Joey Bartolomeo, executive director of Seventeen; and Sophie Donelson, editorial director of House Beautiful. Each have already been replaced by other employees.

“There is much to be proud of and an ambitious new chapter to be written for the division,” Hearst Magazines President Troy Young wrote in an email to staff.

The company also announced various moves to merge its print and digital operations, and said it would be putting some editors at the helm of both. Kristen Koch, who replaces Bartolomeo at Seventeen.com, will also oversee “all content for the brand,” including print.

Meanwhile, Redbook will drop its print edition and go online-only.

“Redbook has a long, proud history of informing and enlightening its audience, and it’s been part of our portfolio for more than 35 years,” Young said in a release. “We thank the team for their dedication and contributions to the magazine.”

Hearst also announced new editor positions at Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Popular Mechanics and VERANDA, as well as new multimedia studios on a leased, 20,000-square-foot plot in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Hearst has gone through sweeping layoffs this year as it continues to consolidate the magazine industry. After it bought Rodale last October, it cut down Women’s Health to just 10 editorial employees. More than 145 Rodale staffers were notified of their termination in January.

Read the full email below: 

Dear Colleagues, 

Shortly, the announcement below this note will be released, sharing editorial and publishing news that will foster closer collaboration across the company. With these changes behind us, the stage is set for our future.

Hearst Magazines titles are among the most well-loved, well-respected and successful in the world. In many ways, our competitive position in the publishing industry has never been better, and we remain fully committed to our print business. Through constant innovation, our audiences continue to grow as we reach across an expanding network of formats and distribution points. Our unique position in today’s media marketplace is the complementary strengths of our print, digital and video offerings. 

Together, we will execute on an exciting vision for the organization, one that blends talents across disciplines to deepen engagement with audiences. Over the past two months, we’ve made some important progress along our new path:

  • Two new working groups align our print and digital content teams. The first, an edit research group, is developing new practices to better understand the impact of the products we create. The second group opens up communication between our visual creators to ensure we capture assets at every opportunity for publication across all platforms.
  • We’ve introduced a new content strategy and business model for the Enthusiast Group brands, Bicycling and Runner’s World. The integrated print and digital team is doing an incredible job of connecting deep category expertise with commerce. We will unveil a redesigned Runner’s World this month that will feature a larger trim size and upgraded paper stock. A new membership offering will be introduced in the coming weeks that provides more value and special benefits for our readers. This kind of thinking around consumer revenue is a huge focus for us and our learnings here will lead to ideas for all our brands. 
  • A multi-year lease has been signed in Easton, Pennsylvania, the future home of some of our editorial, technology and product development teams. The 20,000 square-foot space will include multi-media studios and a testing lab for product and gear. Like our space on the fourth floor of the Sheffield, it will be a highly collaborative environment for modern content creation.
  • Our branded content studio, HearstMade, has expanded and now produces multi-title print, digital, social, custom and white-label content for brands like Airbnb. This group has created more than 300 customized programs in the past year for a wide range of partners including The Ritz-Carlton, Prada and Saks Fifth Avenue. With the harmonization of print and digital creative expertise, we can provide even more unique and ambitious solutions for clients.
  • Commerce continues to be a priority and we’re honing our print and digital strategies to better serve consumers who bought upwards of $200 million worth of merchandise via our brands this past year. I’d like to grow that number to $500 million by 2020 and I am confident we can do it. Last week, Good Housekeeping took this effort to a new level with a pop-up shop at Mall of America, created in partnership with Amazon. Be it in print, online or through events, finding new ways to have a direct connection with our audience helps us understand how and why people buy, making us a more effective and purposeful content organization.
  • The Hearst Data Studio now services both print and digital teams. This group includes research experts, data scientists and campaign optimization analysts, working together to deliver sophisticated performance-driven ad solutions. Among other things, they are evolving our ability to develop and target niche audience segments, an enormous asset for our consumer marketing and editorial teams.
  • Earlier this week we launched OprahMag.com, adding a new dimension to this amazing franchise. The O Magazine team will now reach even more readers with its strong brand message, through video, online and social content. 

There is much to be proud of and an ambitious new chapter to be written for the division.  

I’d like to thank you for your hard work and dedication and for making Hearst Magazines an exciting, dynamic place to work. The talent and creativity of our teams is truly inspiring; it’s what sets us apart and what guides us as we boldly navigate the rapid changes in our industry.

Sincerely,

Troy Young

President, Hearst Magazines

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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