Entertainment Weekly Publisher Donaton Resigns

By Steve Cohn

Entertainment Weekly publisher Scott Donaton will be leaving his post on May 8 to start his own entertainment/marketing consultancy. The news about Donaton broke yesterday (April 29) on the Web site of Advertising Age, where he was editor (1998-2006) and publisher (2006-2007) before now-Time Inc. Entertainment/Style president Paul Caine hired him to succeed Dave Morris as publisher at Entertainment Weekly in December 2007.

News of his resignation is a surprise because even though Entertainment Weekly‘s advertising pages fell during Donaton’s reign (as was the case throughout nearly all the magazine industry), he was highly regarded. Proof came last Oct. 6 when Adweek (how ironic is that?) cited EW as a "magazine leader." More honors for EW: The title was recently celebrated as one of min’s Most Engaged Media Brands.

Yet the two "leaders" are now out, with Donaton’s departure following that of Rick Tetzeli in January. Tetzeli’s successor is Jess Cagle (ex-People); Donaton’s, per Ad Age, "will be announced shortly."

News comes as EW‘s 20th anniversary in February 2010 approaches, and its future in print is again questioned.