In a meeting with his publishing and editorial staff, an emotional Mr. Donaton said it took a lot to get him out of the publication where he has worked for nearly his entire post-collegiate life. (He left at one point but came back after six months.) He called Entertainment Weekly a brand he's watched and admired since its start, and "too great an opportunity for me to pass up."
Mr. Donaton actually rose through the ranks at Ad Age on the editorial side, from a reporter covering magazines and newspapers to editor of the magazine and its website. In recent years, however, he shifted to what reporters often call "the dark side," becoming associate publisher and then, last February, publisher.
'A wonderful job'
"Scott Donaton is leaving us to take some offbeat little job running Entertainment Weekly," David Klein, VP-publishing and editorial director at the Ad Age Group, wrote in a memo to its staff. "As inexplicable as that is, we wish him well. He and I have worked together now for more than a decade, and I consider him not only one of the best journalists I've ever worked with but also a good friend. Of course, he is dead to me now, but still, he did a wonderful job for Ad Age.
"That said, we feel extremely fortunate in having an extraordinary management team in place right now. Associate Publisher Allison Arden, Editor Jonah Bloom and National Sales Manager Jackie Gedhine at Ad Age, and General Manager Adam Gold and Editor Teresa Iezzi at Creativity are all proven and exceptional publishing talents, and our business is on a very fine footing as we head into 2008. This is a year that [Ad Age Editor in Chief Rance Crain] and I both agree will be one of the most exciting in Ad Age's history, and while we will miss Scott, I have no doubt that Advertising Age is now poised to reach entire new levels of success," the memo said.
Mr. Morris, a 21-year veteran of Time Inc., left EW in October after Paul Caine was promoted above him as president of a newly created Time Inc. Entertainment Group. In a memo to staff, Time Inc. Exec VP Stephanie George said Mr. Donaton's perspective on the relationship between entertainment and business made him an ideal pick for the position.
"He shares EW's signature wit and passion for all things movies, music and television," she said. "Paul and I are confident that Scott will help EW build on its position as America's leading consumer magazine of entertainment and popular culture."
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Ms. George's memo to staff
November 19, 2007
To: Time Inc. Staff
From: Stephanie George
Re: Staff Announcement
On the recommendation of Time Inc. Entertainment Group President Paul Caine, I am pleased to announce that Scott Donaton has been named Publisher of Entertainment Weekly, effective December 10.
Many of you know Scott as the Publisher of Advertising Age, where he worked for nearly two decades, first on the editorial side, where he rose to Editor. Most recently as Publisher, Scott has focused on expanding the Ad Age brand in print, online, in video and through marquee conferences.
Prior to being named Publisher in February 2007, Scott served as Ad Age's Associate Publisher and Editorial Director, with primary responsibility for such high-growth areas as events and conferences, digital new-product development, and global licensing. Scott also founded Advertising Age's Madison & Vine initiative, which includes a popular conference and subscription-based Web site. Recognized as an authority in media, Scott has received many industry accolades, including being inducted into the American Advertising Federation's Advertising Hall of Achievement.
Scott's perspective on the relationship between entertainment and business makes him uniquely qualified to lead the Entertainment Weekly brand. He shares EW's signature wit and passion for all things movies, music and television. Paul and I are confident that Scott will help EW build on its position as America's leading consumer magazine of entertainment and popular culture. As part of the Time Inc. Entertainment Group, EW will benefit from a joint strategy with People, People en Espanol and StyleWatch.
Please join me in congratulating Scott and welcoming him to Time Inc.