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Newell Turner has been promoted to editor-in-chief of Hearst Design Group, a newly-created position in which Turner will oversee Hearst’s three shelter publications: ELLE DECOR, House Beautiful and VERANDA.
Under the new structure, each magazine will have a dedicated creative team, including an editor-in-chief, design director, interiors editor and a senior writer. The core team at each magazine will be supported by shared departments, such as a group market department whose editors will cover the marketplace for all three brands, and a group features copy department, which is believed to be the first of its kind among magazine publishers in the United States.
The reorganization will likely result in staff eliminations in some areas and additions in others, according to a report in Adweek. In addition, House Beautiful will get a new EIC, design director, interiors editor and senior writer.
Turner has served as editor-in-chief of House Beautiful since 2010 and will continue in that role until a replacement is named shortly. Michael Boodro and Dara Caponigro will remain editors-in-chief of ELLE DECOR and VERANDA, respectively, and will report to Hearst Magazines President David Carey, under the day-to-day guidance of Turner.
“Earlier this year, I asked Newell how he would build three new shelter brands, if he were given the opportunity to do so,” Carey said. “He embraced the challenge and reimagined the Hearst Design Group with a fresh new approach. I have been inspired by how our titles in Europe operate and share resources very successfully. We decided to discard some outdated traditions and create a model unlike any in the American publishing landscape. The new structure allows us to harness and leverage the combined editorial power of ELLE DECOR, House Beautiful and VERANDA.”
Turner added, “In magazine publishing, editorial team structure hasn’t changed in decades. As magazines have grown into full-blown brands, the demands on editors-in-chief and their staffs have grown exponentially. By sharing resources and ideas across the three shelter brands, we’ll be able to produce magazines in a very nimble, smart and modern way. We’re really changing how branded content is created.”
“In a sense, we are catching up with other sectors, like digital and tech companies, who (sic) pool a lot of resources and operate with more nimble teams,” Turner continued. “The editorial structure of yesterday was designed to produce only a printed magazine; the structure of today and tomorrow is about a brand and all of its platforms. We had to shed some of the old ways of thinking and reinvent how we approach the making of magazines. The model we have developed is state-of-the-art, and we cannot wait for its full implementation, which we expect to be in place by the end of this year.”
Turner joined House Beautiful as style director in 2006 and became editor-in-chief in 2010. In May 2012, the magazine won its first National Magazine Award for “General Excellence” in the Lifestyle Magazines category. Prior to joining Hearst Magazines, Turner was the founding editor-in-chief of Cottages & Gardens Publications with magazines in the Hamptons, Palm Beach and Connecticut. Since 1985 he has been an editor covering design for additional publications including House & Garden, Metropolitan Home and HomeStyle.