NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- MaryAnn Bekkedahl has stepped down as exec VP-group publisher at Rodale, where she was responsible for ad sales and trade marketing across all Rodale print and digital properties, to pursue digital and new media opportunities, the company said today.
"While I've enjoyed participating in this whirlwind of new media evolution through my role at Rodale, I now believe that the time is right for me to engage in these emerging trends in a new way," Ms. Bekkedahl said in a statement from Rodale, which has not decided whether to fill her post.
Ms. Bekkedahl had overseen Rodale's corporate ad sales, custom publishing and integrated trade marketing programs. Her 17 years at the company previously included roles as senior VP and global brand director for Men's Health, publisher of Men's Health and associate publisher of Men's Health International.
It's not clear what sparked her departure. It follows a few months after chairman Maria Rodale assumed the additional post of CEO on Sept. 1, a move that was expected to bring some changes. Ms. Rodale said in the company statement that she is sad to see Ms. Bekkedahl go.
"She integrated our print and digital sales groups into one blended team, leading the way for the industry; she has managed major, complex integrated programs with key marketers such as Nissan, Westin, and Jeep, and she has seen us through many corporate milestones," Ms. Rodale said.
Rodale magazines' ad pages have suffered along with the rest of the industry this year, but in some cases more so. Ad pages at monthlies across the industry fell 21% this year, but dropped 28% at Bicycling and 26% at Prevention, according to the Media Industry Newsletter. Ad pages also fell 21% at Men's Health, 19% at Runner's World and 12% at Women's Health.