January 29, 2016 Last Updated 3:58 pm

Time Inc. to reorganize sales staff to tackle pharmaceuticals, autos and technology categories

The publisher of PEOPLE and Sports Illustrated will now redeploy its sales staffs, moving some personnel into new category sales teams, leaving others with their magazine brand sales teams

The CEO of Time Inc., Joe Ripp, today announced that the company will be reorganizing its advertising sales efforts, establishing a category sales structure. Time Inc., publisher of TIME, PEOPLE and Sports Illustrated, was spun off of Time Warner as a separate publishing company in June of 2014.

Time Magazine cover 2-1-2016“The senior management team and I have decided to approach customers in a new way,” Ripp said in a staff memo. “We will immediately establish a category sales structure for our Pharmaceutical, Autos and Technology/Telecommunications marketers and agencies. Our goal is to formally operate with this approach by the end of the first quarter.”

The effort is likely a response to a common problem for large magazine companies: multiple sales people calling on the same account for multiple titles. Not only is this highly inefficient, but it fails to account for the fact that much of the advertising sold today is digital, targeted to select demographics across many magazine brands.

“CMOs today have too much on their plate,” Mark Ford, Time Inc.’s executive vice president of global advertising, told The Wall Street Journal in an interview.

“This is about going to them with scale. And that means we’ll be able to tailor digital products to their needs. We see our competition as Facebook, Google and Yahoo, and we have to compete accordingly,” Ford said.

The next move is having Time Inc. managers redeploy the sales staffs, moving some personnel to the category teams, while leaving others with the brands. No word on whether the reorganization might lead to a headcount reduction. That effort will be led by Rich Battista, Executive Vice President and President of People and Entertainment Weekly, Evelyn Webster, Executive Vice President, as well as Mark Ford.

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