String of High-Level Departures at Meredith Continues

'Ladies' Home Journal' publisher latest to leave

Women’s magazine publisher Meredith has seen a number of high-level defections from its National Media Group lately. The exodus, some of it voluntary, some not, has coincided with top-level shuffles at the National Media Group that have left new people in charge and changed the reporting structure.

The latest to leave is Julie Pinkwater, who had spent the past seven years as publisher of Ladies’ Home Journal. She went to Univision, where she’s now a senior vice president of client development. “I was passionate about the opportunity; I see this as my fourth media career,” says Pinkwater, who'd worked on the agency side and at the Network Television Association before starting her magazine career.

The other people who've left Meredith have come from a variety of disciplines. Georgine Anton, senior vice president of integrated marketing, left earlier this month to start up a marketing services division at the Atlantic Media Co. Earlier this year, Lauren Stanich, a senior vice president overseeing More and the now-folded ReadyMade, and her old boss Andy Sareyan, who had been Meredith’s chief brand officer, headed out the door.

Meredith has also lost marketing and digital expertise in the past year. That includes David Ball, senior vice president of consumer marketing, and David Algire, vice president of retail sales, along with Glenn Spoto, vice president of digital operations, and Peter Jurew, vice president of digital marketing.

Meredith didn't comment on the departures.

Last summer, Jack Griffin, who was credited with transforming Meredith into a marketing services company, left as president to become CEO of Time Inc. He was replaced by Tom Harty, who has made a number of promotions, and given publishing executives greater oversight over editorial.

After weathering the recession better than some of its peers, Meredith’s business has also gotten tougher this year as its core packaged goods advertisers have reined in spending.

Ladies’ Home Journal, with a circulation of 3.2 million, is Meredith’s third biggest magazine after Better Homes and Family Circle, but it's seen as challenged. It cut its rate base to 3.2 million from 3.8 million this year. In the first half of this year, its ad pages declined 6.5 percent to 445. And the future doesn't look any more hopeful for the magazine: The median age of its female readers is 56.3, the oldest of the women’s service/lifestyle books.

A Meredith spokesman said the company is looking at internal and external candidates to fill the publisher position.