The rumors that former Fox exec Richard Battista would soon be named president of People and Entertainment Weekly were true. Time Inc. has made it official, tapping Battista as executive VP of Time Inc. and president of both magazines.
“Rich’s proven success in building large-scale businesses across multi-media platforms makes him the perfect choice to lead the powerful People and Entertainment Weekly,” write Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp, in a note to staff. “I couldn’t be more excited to have someone of Rich’s caliber champion new ideas and opportunities that will continue to keep these brands top of mind for consumers and business partners alike, and also prime them for future growth and success.”
In the same memo, Ripp announced that Karen Kovacs has been promoted to group publisher of People and EW.
You can read Ripp’s full letter below.
I am very pleased to name Rich Battista, a veteran entertainment and media executive, Executive Vice President of Time Inc. and President of People and Entertainment Weekly. Rich, CEO of Mandalay Sports Media (MSM) and a former Fox and News Corp. executive, will assume his new role on April 6. A Boston native, Rich will move back to the East coast from Los Angeles and be based in our New York headquarters. He will report to me.
Rich will have full operational oversight of growing the core businesses of People and Entertainment Weekly in addition to extending their print and digital businesses into a number of media platforms. Rich’s proven success in building large-scale businesses across multi-media platforms makes him the perfect choice to lead the powerful People and Entertainment Weekly. I couldn’t be more excited to have someone of Rich’s caliber champion new ideas and opportunities that will continue to keep these brands top of mind for consumers and business partners alike, and also prime them for future growth and success.
Rich is excited to join our company and oversee such exceptional brands. He has been a major consumer of both titles for many years and has great passion for the entertainment space. In Rich’s words, “exciting times lie ahead as we continue to expand and evolve People and EW into truly multi-media businesses.”
It is also with great pleasure that I announce Karen Kovacs’ promotion to Group Publisher of People and Entertainment Weekly. Karen is a 22-year veteran of Time Inc. and a driving force behind the success of the People brand. She continues to lead People’s integrated sales and marketing teams. Amidst constant shifts and changes in the digital world, Karen is relied upon for her vast knowledge of the digital and social media landscape, working side by side with both print and digital editors to collaborate on integrated packages for the brand. She was the driving force behind People’s digital launch and a key architect of its tremendous multimedia expansion including People Now. She was instrumental in launching the People Magazine Awards, a two-hour TV special honoring the cultural forces of the year. During her tenure, People has continued to maintain its No. 1 position in advertising pages and revenue since 2008. Last year, FOLIO: inducted her as an industry leader naming Karen one of the Top Women in Media.
Karen, Editorial Director Jess Cagle, and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Strategy Susan Parkes will report to Rich. Entertainment Weekly Publisher Melissa Mattiace will report to Karen, while EW Editor Henry Goldblatt and Digital Editorial Director Will Lee will continue to report to Jess.
With Rich’s arrival and Karen’s promotion, People and EW are poised for continued growth and future success. Please join me in welcoming Rich to the Time Inc. family and congratulating Karen on her new role.