Time Inc. Editor-in-Chief Martha Nelson Exits

8:05 AM PST 10/31/2013 by Erik Hayden
Time, Inc.
Martha Nelson

Bloomberg L.P.'s chief content officer, Norman Pearlstine, returns to the publishing company.

Martha Nelson, the editor-in-chief of Time Inc., is exiting the publishing company prior to its spinoff from Time Warner, CEO Joe Ripp announced on Thursday in a memo.

Nelson has served at Time Inc. for over 20 years and was installed as the editor-in-chief at the beginning of the year. Bloomberg L.P.'s chief content officer, Norman Pearlstine, will return to Time Inc. in the new role of executive vp and chief content officer.

"I want to acknowledge the innumerable contributions Martha Nelson has made to Time Inc. She has been a driving force here for more than 20 years and has helped build some of our most vibrant brands. She was the founding editor of InStyle -- one of the most successful launches ever seen in publishing," Ripp wrote.

Nelson was founding editor of InStyle and later the editor of People magazine. Pearlstine has served as a Bloomberg L.P. executive since 2008. He previously held the position of editor-in-chief at Time Inc. from 1995 to 2005.

In the memo, Ripp stated that the move arrives as the publishing company is "decentralizing" its editorial operations.

Time magazine managing editor Richard Stengel recently left for a position in the State Department. Stengel was replaced by deputy managing editor Nancy Gibbs. After a round of layoffs earlier in the year, the news and politics title has been staffing up prior to a reported web redesign.

The spinoff of Time Inc. has been slated for early 2014, stated Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes in August.

The full memo is below.

Dear Colleagues:

Today, we will be announcing changes to our executive team and a reorganization of our editorial operations with a focus on generating long-term growth for Time Inc. as an independent company. I want to share the news with you first.

I am pleased to let you know that Norm Pearlstine will be returning to Time Inc. in the newly-created role of Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer. At the same time, we are decentralizing our editorial operations. Effective immediately, editors will report into the Group Presidents of their respective divisions: David Geithner for Style & Entertainment, Evelyn Webster for Lifestyle and Todd Larsen for News and Sports. With the implementation of this new structure, Martha Nelson has made the decision to leave Time Inc.

Norm will have oversight of our editorial policies and a dotted line responsibility for editors. As Chief Content Officer, his primary focus will be working with business and edit teams to drive the development of new content experiences and products throughout our portfolio that will fuel future revenue growth. As a former Editor-in-Chief of Time Inc., it goes without saying that Norm will uphold the commitment to quality journalism no matter where we choose to play. He also knows how to move fast, work collaboratively and experiment relentlessly. For the past five years as Bloomberg L.P.’s Chief Content Officer, he has helped guide the company’s expansion in television, radio, digital products and new lines of business.

We believe effective collaboration across business and editorial lines is imperative if we are to succeed as an independent company. With the headwinds facing our industry, we must approach our business through a more entrepreneurial lens and break free from bureaucracy. We are confident this new structure will create a strong partnership between business and editorial, promote creativity and result in a cohesive vision for each of our brands that will be essential to long-term growth.

I want to acknowledge the innumerable contributions Martha Nelson has made to Time Inc. She has been a driving force here for more than 20 years and has helped build some of our most vibrant brands. She was the founding editor of InStyle—one of the most successful launches ever seen in publishing. Nearly two decades later it has become a global powerhouse and one of our most valuable properties. Martha went on to revitalize PEOPLE and worked to expand the brand across multiple platforms and launch new franchises. Today, PEOPLE is the undisputed industry leader by every measure. Beyond those accomplishments, Martha has been a real leader and a role model to many. I thank her for her years of commitment and I respect her decision to move on at this time.

Today, we will also be announcing that Lynne Biggar will be joining us as Executive Vice President of Consumer Marketing. She is a world-class marketing executive who has spent the past 20 years at American Express in a variety of strategic marketing and general management roles. Most recently, Lynne was Executive Vice President and General Manager for International Card Products and Experiences and a member of the company’s Global Management Team. Earlier she headed American Express’ industry-leading loyalty program as Executive Vice President and General Manager of U.S. Membership Rewards and Strategic Card Services. She is the ideal person to help us grow our relationships with consumers.

Finally, today we will announce that Lon Jacobs is joining Time Inc. as Executive Vice President and General Counsel. Lon spent more than a decade at News Corporation, including six years as Senior Executive Vice President and Group General Counsel. His deep experience in managing complex legal issues and corporate governance for one of the world's leading media companies will be a very valuable asset as we begin to operate in the public markets.

Maurice Edelson, who has been our General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and who led the company for a period along with Howard Averill and John Huey, will be moving to Time Warner as Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel. With Maurice’s move to Time Warner, his additional responsibilities will be divided among several senior executives: Jeff Bairstow will have oversight of corporate development and real estate/facilities, Todd Larsen will be responsible for international licensing and syndication and Greg Giangrande will oversee security.

Please join me in welcoming Norm back to the company, congratulating Lynne and Lon on their appointments and thanking Martha and Maurice for their contributions.

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