"Tom and the board recognize we have real differences in the strategic direction of the company that surfaced in the contract renewal process," said Henry R. Kravis, a member of Primedia's board and founding partner of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., the leveraged buyout firm that owns a controlling stake in Primedia, in a statement.
Charles G. McCurdy, formerly Primedia's president, takes over as interim CEO. Don B. Nelson, CEO of Capstone Consulting, which works closely with KKR, will act as interim chairman. A search for a permanent CEO is under way, the company said.
McCurdy said in a statement that Primedia was on target to meet its financial projections for the first quarter and all of 2003.
Rogers joined Primedia in 1999 amid much fanfare after leaving his post as president of NBC Cable. He was expected to introduce a new-media focus to Primedia. Among his many deals was the acquisition of about.com.
Rogers' departure is the latest in a string of changes in the executive ranks at Primedia. Earlier this year Primedia Business Magazines & Media CEO Timothy Andrews, another executive with an Internet focus, left the company, as did another top executive in that division, president Ron Wall.