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Time Inc. Shuffles Managers (Memo)

Former Dow Jones executive Todd Larsen is out; Evelyn Webster is up.

Vjeran Pavic for Re/code
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Time Inc., which has been a standalone company for less than a year, is moving around its top managers. The shuffle means that Todd Larsen, the executive in charge of the publisher’s People, Time and Sports Illustrated titles, is out.

In a memo to employees, Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp said that Evelyn Webster, who had been in charge of the publisher’s monthly magazines, will now be in charge of all of its U.S. titles except for People and Entertainment Weekly. Ripp is looking to hire a new executive to take over People, which generates a significant portion of the publisher’s revenue.

Earlier this year, Time Inc. spun out of parent company Time Warner, and Ripp has been trying to convince Wall Street that he can turn around the declining print publisher by making it a digital publisher. He has work to do: Last month, citing “weak print advertising booking trends,” Time cut its 2014 revenue and profit guidance.

The New York Post previously reported on the management shake-up. You can read Ripp’s memo below:

From: Ripp, Joe
Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2014 10:10 AM
Subject: Management Announcement

Dear Colleagues:

Over the past year we have made a lot of progress in focusing our company on one Time Inc. We have reorganized our corporate sales team, we have consolidated our technology and product engineering operations, and we have removed many of the barriers that stood between the creative and business sides of our organization. Today, we are making moves to streamline the management of our brand portfolio to push us closer to that goal—driving more accountability and accelerating the pace of change.

Effective immediately, EVP Evelyn Webster will now focus solely on our domestic operations, gaining oversight of the entire U.S. brand portfolio excluding the PEOPLE and EW brands. She has done a terrific job managing our fashion, luxury and lifestyle brands and I have every confidence she will help us maximize our opportunities as we align the portfolio around one Time Inc.

As many of you are aware, we are in the market for a President of PEOPLE and EW to bring in a dedicated executive to help us drive growth opportunities in the celebrity and entertainment space. PEOPLE is by far our biggest franchise and this is an investment in its future. The new President will report directly to me. In addition, the recently announced departure of Group Publisher Jed Hartman is an opportunity to bring a fresh perspective to our news and business brands.

Our Time Inc. UK operations, headed by CEO Marcus Rich, will now report into EVP and CFO Jeff Bairstow, an executive with deep operational experience. Before joining Time Inc., Jeff was President of Digital First Media where he helped the company extend the reach of its core media brands across all platforms. Jeff will be a great partner to Marcus as they work to grow our UK portfolio.

Todd Larsen will be leaving the company at the end of December. I want to thank him for his contributions over the past three years. He was instrumental in jump-starting the growth of our digital audiences and oversaw our successful launch into video in addition to managing high-profile brands. Please join me in wishing him all the best in his future endeavors.

We have much to be proud of as we enter the holiday season and I thank you for all your hard work over the past year. Be assured we will continue to focus on making sure we are positioned for transformation and success in the years to come.


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