Ms. Northrop, fresh from More's "Reinvention Convention" last month, is joining a magazine that's undergoing some reinvention itself. Ms. Leo, along with Group Publisher Eva Dillon and others, has been working on a redesign scheduled to arrive in January. The magazine will reduce its guaranteed paid circulation to 8 million from 10 million at the same time in a bid for cost efficiencies and better audience composition.
The entire Reader's Digest Association, in fact, has been undergoing a lot of change since it went private last March in a $2.8 billion deal that installed Mary Berner as president-CEO. Ms. Berner quickly poached several high-level former colleagues from Conde Nast -- and continued the big hiring this week by naming Anne Balaban publisher of Every Day With Rachael Ray; Ms. Balaban had been senior VP-publisher at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's Everyday Food.
Ms. Northrop, editor in chief at More since 2004, could not be immediately reached this afternoon. The Reader's Digest Association confirmed her hire.
"It's obviously a loss for Meredith but we wish Peggy well," said Mike Lafavore, senior VP-editorial director at Meredith, who said he is already considering potential successors. "Nobody in my job doesn't keep a mental or physical list of people that could take on jobs. We've got some good internal and external candidates."