Hachette Filipacchi Media announced today that they are making changes to their publishing empire. And no, it doesn’t mean the mags are closing (unlike Domino, et. al). According to their press release this change represents “a dynamic new structure to promote growth for the future by creating brand groups centered around the women’s titles, each led by Chief Brand Officers. The Chief Brand Officers will have responsibility for their respective business units, including developing new revenue streams, setting brand direction across platforms, and integrating print and digital advertising sales. “
Deborah Burns has been named Senior V.P., Chief Brand Officer, Luxury Design Group which includes ELLE DECOR and Metropolitan Home. Deborah will report directly to Alain Lemarchand, President & CEO of HFM and serve on the company’s Executive Committee. Margaret Russell, VP, Brand Content, ELLE DECOR and Donna Warner, VP, Brand Content, Metropolitan Home will remain as Editors In Chief of their magazines and are additionally responsible for brand consistency and contributing content across platforms. “Preserving editorial integrity is key, and the Editors In Chief will be part of an Editorial Committee which Lemarchand will chair. The brand content editors will work closely with digital editors on the development of content through joint project groups; the Digital Media group will remain responsible for digital platforms.”
So, in real speak, what does this mean? It looks like the mags have finally caught on to the value of the digital world. Both Deborah Burns and House Beautiful’s Steven Drucker said so in this article by Terri Sapienza of THE WASHINGTON POST.
And, what will it mean for the design blogs? Says Steven Drucker” I think blogs are the best thing to happen in my 30 years in the industry. They spread the word about us. Blogs are basically magazines that are not financially viable. Magazines that are currently in peril would probably be much better off as blogs.”
Interesting question – as the shelter magazines ramp up their online presence, or even go solely internet based, what does that mean for today’s design bloggers?