September 19, 2014 Last Updated 3:53 pm

Hearst to create new digital product development group based in Silicon Valley

The Hearst Digital Product Development Group will work across the company’s media divisions

The Hearst Corporation today announced that it had formed a new Silicon Valley digital product development group in order to grow its digital media offerings.

The new group will work across Hearst businesses – meaning, we suppose, its newspapers as well as its magazine and broadcast properties. Rick Marini, formerly the CEO of BranchOut, will be forming the new group and report to Hearst chief technology officer Phil Wiser.

“The Hearst Digital Product Development Group is well positioned to create immersive digital media experiences for a variety of audiences across mobile platforms,” said Steven R. Swartz, president and CEO of Hearst Corporation. “Our overall goal is to capture the attention of users with a new wave of engaging mobile apps and services. I’m happy that Rick and his team will be leading our efforts from our new outpost on the West Coast and I welcome them all to Hearst.”

“We are incredibly excited by the Hearst team’s vision for the future of digital media and how our team will be a key part of that,” Marini said. “Hearst is a world-class media organization with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. The opportunity to develop high-impact digital products for millions of consumers is why we decided to join Hearst.”

I don’t know about that line about “entrepreneurial spirit” but all I can say is that it is about time! Hearst, the owner of the San Francisco Chronicle, has always had strong ties to the west coast, so creating a digital division in Silicon Valley was a no brainer – that it didn’t happen before now is one of those mysteries with no explanation. Maybe they were waiting for the right person to come along, or for the right person to demand this move.

(Disclosure: I am a former Hearst employee back in the days when there were actual Hearsts still working at the newspapers.)

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