Time Inc. names Rich Battista president of People and Entertainment Weekly
Battista, currently CEO of Mandalay Sports Media and a former Fox and News Corp. executive, assumes his new role on April 6
NEW YORK, NY – March 9, 2015 — Time Inc. Chairman and CEO Joe Ripp has named Rich Battista, a 25-year veteran of the entertainment and media industry, Executive Vice President of Time Inc. and President of People and Entertainment Weekly. Battista, CEO of Mandalay Sports Media (MSM) and a former Fox and News Corp. executive, assumes his new role on April 6. Battista will report to Ripp and be based at Time Inc.’s headquarters in New York.
Battista will have full operational oversight of growing the core businesses of People and Entertainment Weekly in addition to extending their print and digital businesses into a number of media platforms. Karen Kovacs, Publisher of People, has been promoted to Group Publisher of People and Entertainment Weekly. Kovacs, Editorial Director Jess Cagle and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Strategy Susan Parkes will report to Battista. Entertainment Weekly Publisher Melissa Mattiace is now reporting to Kovacs.
“Rich’s proven success in building large-scale businesses across multi-media platforms makes him the perfect choice to lead the powerful People and Entertainment Weekly. I couldn’t be more excited to have someone of Rich’s caliber champion new ideas and opportunities that will continue to keep these brands top of mind for consumers and business partners alike, and also prime them for future growth and success,” said Ripp.
Battista said: “I am thrilled to join Time Inc. and to oversee such unparalleled brands in People and Entertainment Weekly. On a personal basis, I have been a major consumer of both titles for many years and I have great passion for the entertainment space. Joe and his team have brought tremendous energy and momentum to the company and exciting times lie ahead as we continue to expand and evolve People and EW into truly multi-media businesses.”
At Mandalay Sports Media, Battista has led a media and content enterprise by creating, acquiring and investing in businesses and assets across the sports media landscape. Earlier, over an 18-year period, he held numerous senior management roles across Fox, where he was integral in conceiving of, building and operating its significant portfolio of cable networks. As President of Fox’s National Cable Networks, he oversaw the multi-billion dollar portfolio of entertainment and sports networks, including FX, National Geographic Channel, Speed Channel and Fox Deportes. From 2004 to 2008, Battista was CEO of the publicly traded Gemstar-TV Guide International, where he was chief architect of the turnaround of the company, including the revitalization of TV Guide magazine and TV Guide Network and the significant growth of TV Guide Online and other digital businesses. He directed the sale of the company for $2.3 billion in 2008. At Fox, his prior roles included Executive Vice President, Business Development and Strategy for Fox Entertainment Group (FEG), including the development and oversight of the American Idol website; Executive Vice President, Fox Television and Executive Vice President of Fox Sports International. Additionally, he was Co-Founder and CEO of iFUSE, a youth culture digital media company, served as CEO of LodgeNet Interactive and formed Pontiac Digital Media through which he created and invested in digital media properties. Battista began his career as a financial analyst at Morgan Stanley and is a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Business School.
People revolutionized personality journalism when it launched in 1974 and remains one of the world’s most ubiquitous, iconic and trusted multimedia brands reaching an audience of 81 million and a social media footprint of more than 13 million. People has maintained its No. 1 position in advertising pages and revenue since 2008, while People.com celebrated a record-breaking month in February with 72 million unique visitors (an increase of 78 percent year-over-year). People has powerful, exclusive partnerships with all key award shows including the Emmys, SAG, Grammys and Oscars®. The brand continues to innovate by developing new content on all platforms, such as People Now, a 20-minute “live” daily online show presented by Toyota, which premiered on People.com on Sept. 3, and the People Magazine Awards, a two-hour TV special that aired on NBC on December 18, 2014 honoring the cultural forces of the year.
Entertainment Weekly is the all-access pass to Hollywood’s most creative minds and most fascinating stars. The magazine was launched in 1990 and is America’s leading consumer publication in the entertainment category, with a guaranteed circulation rate base of nearly 1.8 million and a combined audience of over 20 million loyal, engaged fans with a social media footprint of more than 9 million across platforms. Entertainment Weekly launched EW Radio on Sirius XM in May 2013. EW Radio is a 24/7 channel featuring the latest in pop culture news, reviews, insider scoops and interviews with Hollywood’s top talent.