Jane Francisco Succeeds Rosemary Ellis as Good Housekeeping Editor-in-Chief

By Steve Cohn

On Nov. 12, Hearst Magazines president (since June 2010) David Carey announced the hire of Toronto-based Chatelaine editor-in-chief (since Dec. 2009) Jane Francisco as editor-in-chief at company flagship Good Housekeeping.

Per AdAge.com, predecessor (since July 2006) Rosemary Ellis had told Carey of her intention to step down by year-end.

Outwardly, much of Francisco’s transition should be smooth. Chatelaine parent Rogers Publishing is, like Hearst Magazines, multimedia, and Good Housekeeping and Chatelaine are both women’s-service magazines. Chatelaine‘s 540,000 circulation matches GH‘s 4.4 million (both Alliance of Audited Media Snapshot averages in first-half 2013) when the 35.2 million Canadian and 315.2 million U.S. populations are taken into account, and branding is now the key to the success at both.

Francisco’s biggest acclimation will be with the century-old Good Housekeeping Research Institute. Chatelaine, as with GH‘s U.S. rivals, has test kitchens, but nothing to the magnitude of the Research Institute and the famed Seal of Approval.

Francisco becomes GH‘s fourth editor-in-chief over the past 39 years after John Mack Carter (1975-1994), now-HM editorial director Ellen Levine (1994-2006) and Ellis–whose tenure won acclaim for GH‘s 21 books, 15 syndicated TV specials, multiple digital apps and several licensed product lines.

Earlier in her career, Francisco was editor-in-chief of Style at Home (2009) and St. Joseph’s Media’s Wish (2004-2008).