Bauer Media Group USA Appoints Steven Kotok as CEO

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Steven Kotok.
Steven Kotok. Credit: Courtesy Steven Kotok
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Hubert Boehle, who has served as CEO of Bauer Media Group USA since 2005, will leave the magazine publisher and be succeeded by Steven Kotok, the company will announce Monday.

Mr. Boehle, a Bauer employee since 1986, is departing "to try new things," he said in a company statement. He will stay with the company until the end of December to help facilitate the transition. Mr. Kotok's tenure as president and CEO begins Monday.

Bauer Media Group USA, part of the Hamburg, Germany-based Bauer Media, publishes 17 titles, including In Touch and Woman's World magazines. The company has 305 employees and is headquartered in Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

Mr. Kotok, by his estimation, worked at Dennis Publishing for 18 years, during that time serving as CEO of brands like The Week and Mental Floss, which was acquired by the company in 2011. Most recently, he served as president of The Wirecutter, a website that recommends "the best gadgets and gear for people" and takes a cut on sales.

In an interview, Mr. Kotok, 46, said he has long been a fan of Bauer, and appreciates the company's reader- and product-centered approach to publishing, which he said mirrors that of Dennis Publishing.

Also, Bauer, like Dennis, is a family-owned, privately held company, which Mr. Kotok sees as an advantage in today's competitive, market-driven media landscape. "It lets you play a little more for the long-term, and [have] more of an orientation of growing and stewarding something for a very long-term," he said.

While Mr. Kotok said "the competitive paradigm is a little overblown," when asked about Bauer's media competitors, he did make a distinction. "A lot of companies start out with the monetization and try to think of a product that's going to achieve that," he said.

Bauer's business model places a large emphasis on newsstand sales, which Mr. Kotok sees as a great proof of value. "This is like, you're fighting it out, week in and week out," he said.

Mr. Kotok predicted that Bauer will be able to overcome industry headwinds. "I think Bauer comes out the other side because it's always been there," he said.