Mr. Hartig will oversee a broad range of new ventures for Hearst. His responsibilities include evaluating new magazine concepts, brand extensions off existing Hearst titles, potential partnerships along the lines of its co-ventures Marie Claire and O, The Oprah Magazine, as well as coming up with consumer marketing strategies.
Mr. Hartig's title will be senior executive magazine and business development, and he will report directly to Hearst Magazines President Cathleen Black.
There's not been a dedicated executive formally overseeing that area since company veteran John Mack Carter stepped down from those duties in 1999. While the company has no plans to start another magazine development unit, which it abandoned some years back, the move looks likely to presage more launches, joint ventures and acquisitions for the media giant.
Co-ventures and acqusitions
This year, while most major magazine companies shied away from major developmental moves, Hearst announced plans to co-launch a Lifetime Networks-branded magazine; made its first acquisition since 1986 by purchasing shelter title Veranda for $40 million and made plans for the brand extension Town & Country Travel. It also had people doing development work on an abortive MTV-branded magazine, and co-launched a Michael Jordan-branded custom-publishing project with sports marketer Nike's Team Jordan.
Mr. Hartig was formerly president of Time Inc.'s Parenting Group but left that post in mid-2001. Most recently, he'd been scouting the magazine landscape for potential deals for private equity players.
Through a spokesman Mr. Hartig and Ms. Black declined to comment.