As if the shake-up at the top of Reader’s Digest Association weren't enough, one of its marquee brands is going through its own upheaval.
Every Day With Rachael Ray is looking for a new publisher following the quiet departure of Anne Balaban about a month ago. Along with Balaban, Vanessa Goldberg-Drossman, the associate publisher of marketing, and Bethany Gale, advertising director, left. Eva Dillon, a former RDA executive who was brought on by the now-ex president/CEO Mary Berner and who left at the end of last year, has been running the title on an interim basis.
RDA and Balaban said her departure was her decision. “I have nothing but good things to say about the brand,” Balaban said by phone. “It was just something I had been thinking about for a while. I had a couple of good opportunities kind of fall at me.” Insiders told Adweek that she was fired, though.
The magazine has lost ground to Hearst Magazines’ 2-year-old Food Network Magazine, which overtook Rachael Ray in newsstand sales last year. It also faces a reinvigorated Bon Appétit, the Condé Nast book that was just redesigned by new editor Adam Rapoport. Rachael Ray's ad pages slid 9.2 percent to 107 in the first quarter of this year, while the industry overall saw an increase of 2.5 percent, according to Publishers Information Bureau. RDA recently brought on Liz Vaccariello to edit the magazine and strengthen its ties with its namesake TV host's program.
Suzanne Grimes, RDA's president of Lifestyle Communities, India and Canada, said a search is under way and that a new publisher is expected to be named "very soon."