NEW YORK – Hearst Magazines has appointed Joanna Coles as chief content officer, a new executive role within the media company. Coles had been editor-in-chief of Hearst Magazines’ flagship magazine Cosmopolitan since 2012, as well as editorial director of Seventeen since 2014. The announcement was made by Hearst President and CEO Steven R. Swartz and Hearst Magazines President David Carey. Coles will continue to report to Carey, and will begin in her new role immediately.
“Joanna has terrific editorial and business acumen and has emerged as a strong leader during her 10 years at Hearst, both within the organization and the media community,” Swartz said. “She is an innovator who operates at every level and an ideal addition to our leadership team.”
“Joanna is a powerhouse modern editor—she has strengthened the thought-leadership of Cosmopolitan and established deep relationships with major players in advertising, technology, entertainment and government,” Carey said. “She has a creative, curious mind and her boundless energy will be an integral part of all we do, as we forge an even closer connection between our U.S. and international media businesses.”
With Coles’ promotion, Michele Promaulayko has been named the new editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan. Most recently, Promaulayko served as the editor-in-chief of Yahoo Health, a digital magazine offering the latest news and expert advice on health, fitness, nutrition, and other wellness topics. During her tenure, she more than quadrupled the brand’s audience, from four million to a high of 17.6 million.
Previously, Promaulayko was vice president and editor-in-chief ofWomen’s Health for six years, where she oversaw all facets of the brand, including print, digital, and brand extensions including events, apps, and books. She is widely credited for transforming the healthy lifestyle publication into one of the fastest-growing women’s magazines in the world.
As chief content officer, Coles will work closely with Hearst Magazines’ editors in the U.S. and globally. She will lead new magazine development activities, and spearhead efforts to extend Hearst brands into television, live events, and other new businesses. Coles will continue to collaborate with the rapidly expanding digital media division and with the publishing side on the creation of new advertising products. She will also join forces with Hearst Magazines-owned digital marketing agency iCrossing on its branded content and marketing innovation initiatives, and oversee consumer research, books, and the centralized team in New York supporting Hearst’s international editions.
“This is a truly dynamic moment for magazine media, and the opportunities are endless,” Coles said. “I’m excited to work alongside the extremely talented teams across the company to come up with new businesses and brands, new collaborations and partnerships, and new ways to engage our audiences around the world.”
Under Coles’ leadership, Cosmopolitan, the world’s largest women’s media brand, experienced a resurgence. According to MPA’s Magazine Media 360 Brand Audience Report, Cosmopolitan’s reach increased to 32.1 million in 2015, making it one of the top 10 performers of all magazine brands for the year and the only women’s media brand in the category.