Hearst Names Joanna Coles New Editor at Cosmopolitan

Kate White, Editor Since 1998, Becomes Advisor

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Hearst Magazines has named Joanna Coles editor-in-chief at Cosmopolitan magazine, succeeding Kate White, the editor-in-chief since 1998.

Joanna Coles
Joanna Coles

Ms. Coles has been editor-in-chief at Hearst's Marie Claire since 2006. Her new job atop the much larger Cosmopolitan begins Sept. 10. Ms. White will become an advisor at Hearst, the company said.

Cosmo is the top newsstand magazine in the country, but has been increasingly relying on cheap subscription offers to maintain its large reach among consumers as the industry suffers persistent, large declines in single-copy sales.

Cosmo averaged paid and verified circulation above 3 million in the first half of this year, roughly even with period a year before, according to its reports with the Audit Bureau of Circulations. But its single-copy sales plunged 15.5%, compared with an industry-wide drop of 9.6%.

Single-copy sales comprised 52.7% of Cosmo's circulation in the first half of the year, down from 71% in 1998, when overall paid circulation was 2.6 million.

Cosmo has found success with digital editions, however, apparently becoming the first magazine to sell more than 100,000 individually-paid digital subscriptions.

Cosmo has also been in the headlines lately with the death last month of Helen Gurley Brown, who edited the magazine from 1965 to 1997 and made it both an advocate and record of the sexual revolution. Her successor, Bonnier Fuller, decamped to Glamour after just 18 months. Ms. White has been editor ever since.

Kate White
Kate White

"Kate is a huge talent who not only maintained Cosmo's leadership position over the past 14 years but also launched many brand extensions, including Cosmo Radio, best-selling books and a tablet edition," said David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines, in a statement Tuesday.

Marie Claire averaged paid and verified circulation of 988,418 in the first half of the year, up 2.6% from a year prior as single-copy sales held steady and subscriptions rose 3.2%.

Ms. Coles was previously executive editor at More, articles editor at New York magazine and New York bureau chief at The Guardian.

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