Hearst President Carey Recognizes Successes to Build On and Challenges to Tackle in 2013

By Michelle Manafy

In his annual letter to all of the staff at Hearst, President David Carey highlights the company’s successes in the past year, which includes the successful launch of HGTV Magazine (recognized as min’s launch of the year at our recent Most Intruding Awards), which boasts 700,000 paid subscribers and is moving from six to 10x frequency this year. He also notes the launch of 10 new Hearst international editions, including Esquire in Singapore and Colombia and Harper’s Bazaar in Poland.

Among the year’s achievements he lauds in the lengthy memo:

  • Elle experienced strong growth in its first full year of Hearst ownership, gaining market share and becoming Heart’s second-largest business in the U.S.
  • Successful redesigns of Harper’s Bazaar and Good Housekeeping.
  • Marie Claire delivered the most revenue ever in the magazine’s 18-year U.S. history.
  • Already the No. 1 epicurean magazine on the newsstand, Food Network Magazine experienced a sales jump of 18 percent last year and earned the top spot for ad pages in its category. Projected FNM circulation for 2013: 1.55 million.
  • Hearst Integrated Media had its biggest year ever in 2012, selling more than 30 custom programs.

Carey specifically highlighted several digital milestones achieved across the company:

  • A rise 39 million monthly page views on mobile devices at the end of 2011 to 186 million at the close of 2012.
  • Nearly 800,000 monthly digital subscriptions to Hearst publications in the U.S. across iPads, Nooks, Kindle Fires and Android device.
  • The number of the company’s unique monthly visitors to its websites grew by more than 30 percent.
  • Hearst now boasts 7.7 million Facebook fans, 4.7 million Twitter followers and 5.5 million Pinterest followers, including the No. 1 brand on Pinterest, Harper’s Bazaar.

Carey extoled the virtues of the companies many significant leadership changes and additions over the year including new Chief Technology Officer Phil Wiser, and a number of new editor-in-chief announcements including Joanna Coles assuming the top spot at Cosmo; Susan Spencer at Woman’s Day, Larry Webster at Road & Track and Anne Fulenwider at Marie Claire. Carine Roitfeld also joined the company as global fashion director of Bazaar. However Carey also mourned the passing of industry great, Helen Gurley Brown, the Hearst magazine editor who first made Cosmopolitan famous. Brown died on August 13 at the age of 90.

Looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that 2013 bring to Hearst, Carey wrote “Every member of the team has the chance to make a Helen Gurley Brown–level contribution, one that can have a long-lasting, positive impact on our company and colleagues.”

On a more practical note, Carey alluded to some changes coming in the New Year:

  • Already underway is a restyling of Road & Track and a new direction for Redbook.
  • The team at Hearst Magazines International is readying another dozen launches in 2013, from France to Australia.
  • The company’s digital leadership team is working on plans to “future-proof” our digital business models for a world where more than 50 percent of our traffic will be on small screens, and our readers will demand fresh, high-quality content from our brands around the clock.
  • Esquire Editor in Chief David Granger and Publishing Director Jack Essig will soon announce a bold new partnership—an initiative that will dramatically expand the Esquire franchise. The brand also has big plans in the works to celebrate its 80th anniversary this year.

To read the entire memo, visit Heart’s site.