MARTHA NELSON NAMED HEAD OF PEOPLE MAGAZINE GROUP

First Move Under Time Inc. Editor in Chief John Huey

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In John Huey’s first move since becoming Time Inc. editor in chief Jan. 1, he has promoted Martha Nelson, managing editor of People magazine, to editor of the People Group. Larry Hackett, the magazine's deputy managing editor since December 2004, was promoted to succeed Ms. Nelson.
Photo: Scott Gries
Martha Nelson
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Ms. Nelson, a rising star within Time Inc., gains responsibility for People, Teen People, People en Espanol, People.com and any other brand extensions the company may pursue.

A most powerful woman
Ms. Nelson had been People’s managing editor since April 2002, when she returned to the title after a stint launching the huge Time Inc. success In Style. Under her watch, People successfully held its ground and even grew slightly despite an onslaught of new weeklies in the celebrity space. She expanded People’s special “Stylewatch” issues, introduced a guide to awards shows called the Hollywood Daily and launched Your Diet. Forbes named her one of the “World’s Most Powerful Women” two years in a row.

Mr. Hackett joined People as a senior editor in 1998, was promoted to assistant managing editor in 2001 and became executive editor in 2003. He was previously a reporter at the New York Daily News.

It may be no accident that Mr. Huey focused first on a feel-good story; Advertising Age estimates that People has the highest revenue of any magazine -- not just at Time Inc. but in the industry at large.

Struggling stalwarts
Other stalwarts of the Time Inc. stable have struggled to maintain circulation and watched ad pages sink. Ad pages at Sports Illustrated, for example, plummeted 18.5% through from January through November 2005, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Time magazine ad pages fell 14.2% in the same period. Business books like Fortune and Money have also suffered.

Time Inc. is undergoing massive changes, not just with the ascension of Mr. Huey. Ann S. Moore, chairwoman-CEO, slashed 105 jobs last month, losing many high-level and well-regarded executives in the process. Many more layoffs and changes are expected in coming weeks and months as the new chief operating officers, Nora McAniff and John Squires, settle into their positions.

Its parent company, Time Warner, is also under pressure from shareholders like Carl Icahn to break up the company, which he plans to pursue by leading a campaign to oust most of the company’s current directors.

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