Time Inc. gives its new-media unit an overhaul

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"Let a thousand flowers bloom" was the philosophy that ruled Time Warner's new-media business over the past three years.

But under last week's management restructuring, those flowers will be managed a lot more carefully.

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At least that's how new Time Inc. New Media President Linda McCutcheon Conneally envisions it. Ms. Conneally won the closely watched title race last week, moving up from senior VP-advertising sales and marketing.

PRESIDENT TAPPED

Ms. Conneally's promotion caps a five-month period during which Norman Pearlstine, Time Warner's editor in chief, acted as president. He filled in for Paul Sagan, former president-editor, who left the company last December.

Under Ms. Conneally's direction, Time Inc. New Media will combine its many startup properties into a single business unit. All budgets relating to new-media will be put together and costs will be managed centrally.

The unit will also manage approximately 100 employees now scattered throughout the company at the many independent new-media ventures run by Time Inc.'s brands.

"We want to be many things online, but we want to be one business," Ms. Conneally said.

FIVE KEY INITIATIVES

The company last week also outlined a shift in how its properties' online ventures will be handled.

Time Inc. New Media will within the next few months name new executives to lead five key online initiatives--the Pathfinder Network; syndication; niche product marketing; magazine brand development; and trans-actional business.

Reporting all profits and losses under one unit has interesting ramifications for the company's numerous magazines, especially in light of a recent lawsuit between Time and CompuServe over terms of a content provider deal.

LIKE A STUDIO

A resolution to the suit was expected to be announced last week, but details weren't available at press time.

"We will be accountable to the titles for the way they steward their brands," Ms. Conneally said. In effect, Time Inc. New Media will become a studio, funding the creative cyber-projects that its affiliated brands create.

Executives at the company's magazines said the single budget will help.

"From the brand perspective it's very good news. To centralize the operations, from a deal-making perspective, makes a lot of sense," said Money New Media Director Brett Zickerman.

Now, he added, the company can present a single, unified executive force to the many outside companies with whom Time Inc. brands do business, including America Online, CompuServe and dozens of national advertisers.

KNOWLTON, THOMAS PROMOTED

In other management changes, Oliver Knowlton was named general manager of Time Inc. New Media, from VP-technology and administration. He succeeds Bruce Judson, who had been viewed as a candidate for the president's job but left last week.

Mr. Knowlton will have day-to-day management responsibility, a role different from that of Mr. Judson, who handled business development.

Charlie Thomas, director of ad sales, was also promoted to VP-advertising and marketing.

Copyright April 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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