Meredith Acquires Every Day with Rachael Ray; Christine Guilfoyle Named Publisher

By Steve Cohn

This morning (Oct. 31), Meredith Corp. completed the acquisition of the six-year-old Every Day with Rachael Ray from Reader’s Digest Association (RDA). Concurrently, Meredith finalized a 10-year agreement with Rachael Ray’s Watch Entertainment, which is part of the production team (with CBS Television Distribution, Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions and Scripps Networks) responsible for the chef’s daytime television talk show. No terms were announced.

Also this morning, Meredith National Media Group executive VP (since July 2011) Tom Witschi announced that More publisher (since Jan. 2010) Christine Guilfoyle (pictured) was switching to Every Day with Rachael Ray, where she was the founding publisher in Nov. 2005 and served through June 2007. In that Rachael Ray and More are now both part of Witschi’s Women’s Lifestyle group at Meredith, he will be filling the publisher’s vacancy at More. But the editor-in-chief’s vacancy at Rachael Ray, which happened Oct. 13 when Liz Vaccariello moved to Reader’s Digest Community editor-in-chief/chief content officer, will be filled by Family Circle editor-in-chief (since Sept. 2005) Linda Fears, who adds the oversight of Rachael Ray to her other role as Meredith Food Content editorial director.

Meredith had reached an agreement in principle to buy Rachael Ray from RDA on Oct. 12. The Oct. 31 issue of min reported last week’s departure of Guilfoyle’s predecessor (since May 2011) Paul Jowdy, who said that executive hires "are the prerogative" of Witschi and his boss, Meredith National Media Group president (since August 2010) Tom Harty.