Mary Berner Gathers Her Team From Conde Nast

Move Hints at New Structure at Reader's Digest Association

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NEW YORK ( -- Mary Berner's triumphant return to magazine publishing as president-CEO at Reader's Digest Association has produced all the drama that many expected, with high-level poachings from Conde Nast Publications kicking things off.

Mary Berner
Mary Berner Credit: Scott Gries

Eva Dillon, VP-publisher at Conde Nast's Cookie, told Advertising Age today that she's going over as president and group publisher responsible for Reader's Digest, Reader's Digest Large Print Edition and Selecciones, the U.S. Spanish language version of the magazine. Conde Nast is deciding on the timing of her departure. She will succeed Denise Favorule, who left the company. Reader's Digest Publisher Benjamin D. Madden is staying put.

And Conde's Suzanne Grimes, senior VP-corporate sales, has already told boss Richard Beckman that she is leaving to become a division president at Reader's Digest Association, responsible for food brands such as Every Day With Rachael Ray and several Reiman Publication titles under the Taste of Home brand, which RDA acquired under outgoing CEO Tom Ryder's tenure. Other RDA assets that could come under a food division include and diet website

Eva Dillon
Eva Dillon

Wackermann staying put
But insiders said today that Bill Wackermann, VP-publisher at Glamour and another favorite of Ms. Berner's, is definitely staying put at Conde Nast.

Back in February, when Ms. Berner was asked if she was considering making a run at precisely those three execs, Ms. Berner declined to comment and Mr. Wackermann said his work at Glamour wasn't done. Ms. Dillon's response at the time was only that Cookie is wildly successful and that she has the "best job in the industry." Here's hoping her new job at least comes close.

Ms. Berner did not respond to a message seeking comment by press time; an RDA spokesman declined to comment.

Ripplewood Holdings, a private-equity firm with stakes in direct-marketing companies, took possession of Reader's Digest Association earlier this month, and installed Ms. Berner as president-CEO.

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