Tag Archives: editor

EXCLUSIVE: Coastal Living editor departs after less than 6 months

Also, Southern Living offers new round of buyouts

Sara PetersonSara Peterson, the third editor at Coastal Living magazine in the last 2 years, is calling it quits. Media of Birmingham has learned that she plans to work in New York on the long-rumored HGTV Magazine published Hearst Corporation, according to insiders at the Birmingham office. Hearst is a direct competitor to Time Inc., which owns Coastal Living and other Birmingham-based titles.

Time Inc. spokesperson Jennifer Zawadzinski said via e-mail that the company is interviewing candidates for editor, but no announcement is ready at this time.

(Also, Peterson’s interview with 365Beach.com in April.)

This latest departure is one in a series of ongoing editor changes at the former Southern Progress division:

Lindsay Bierman, the new editor at Southern Living, has started a new round of buyouts among the editorial group, reportedly to give the option to staff members no longer passionate about the magazine a way out. An exact number is not known, but the final accepted buyout list is expected to be announced after Labor Day.

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EXCLUSIVE: Southern Living has third editor in 2 years

The tenures are growing ever shorter.

Eleanor GriffinLindsay BiermanJohn Floyd was editor of Southern Living for 18 years, until his retirement in 2008. Eleanor Griffin has been in the position less than 2 years.

With her promotion to vice president of Southern Living brand development, deputy editor Lindsay Bierman will succeed her as editor on Aug. 9, Media of Birmingham has learned.

Bierman has been through this before. He became editor of Cottage Living a month before it closed in 2008; he succeeded Griffin, who had just taken the role at Southern Living. He then became editor of Coastal Living, until moving to Southern Living in March. All Time Inc. three titles are based in Birmingham, part of the magazine group formerly known as Southern Progress.

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The e-mail announcement from Time Inc. Executive Vice President Sylvia Auton …

Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2010 12:31:00 -0400

To: Lifestyle Group

From: Sylvia Auton

Re: Staff Announcement

After 33 years with Southern Progress, Southern Living Editor in Chief Eleanor Griffin, has decided to move her career in a different direction.  Eleanor is a consummate publishing professional whose insights, expertise and passion would have been sorely missed had she not agreed to stay on in the newly created role of VP, Brand Development for Southern Living. In this position, she will work closely with the advertising and marketing group to break and grow business on key accounts. She will also work in an advisory capacity with our book division, Oxmoor House, on the creative development of Southern Living branded book concepts, as well as be responsible for identifying relevant partnerships with appropriate organizations and events.

As editor of the country’s 5th largest monthly consumer magazine, Eleanor had her pulse on modern Southern style, ensuring that Southern Living covered every aspect of Southern life with a unique and powerful voice.  From secret sources for beautiful home décor to delicious Southern recipes and charming, must-visit Southern towns, Eleanor reminded her readers every month why the South is such a special place to live.

Prior to Southern Living, Eleanor had an impressive career as the launch editor of Time Inc.’s Cottage Living. Not only was the brand beloved by readers, but under Eleanor’s direction, it received many industry accolades, including “Startup of the Year” by Adweek and “Launch Worth Watching” by Ad Age, and made two appearances on the Adweek Hotlist.

Eleanor joined the company in 1977 as merchandising manager at Southern Living. During her tenure, she has held various roles at the company including editorial director of the custom publishing division where she launched four new consumer publications and was director of corporate magazine development.

I’m pleased to announce that succeeding Eleanor will be Southern Living’s Deputy Editor Lindsay Bierman. With more than 14 years of lifestyle editing experience, Lindsay’s varied expertise, keen design sense and creative vision dovetails perfectly with the brand. I am confident that Lindsay will build on the momentum of last year’s successful redesign. Lindsay assumes his new role on August 9th.

Before joining Southern Living in early 2010, Lindsay led the repositioning and redesign of Coastal Living as Editor in Chief for two years. Under his leadership, the audience grew nearly 10% to more than 3.6 million, and the brand launched four major home furnishings collections. Lindsay joined the company in 1997 as the first Homes Editor at Coastal Living and served as Executive Editor at Southern Accents before moving to Cottage Living as founding Executive Editor. Earlier in his career, Lindsay worked at Robert A.M. Stern Architects in New York and wrote for titles such as Elle Décor and Interior Design. It was during his school years that Lindsay developed such a strong affinity for the South. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a Master of Architecture from the University of Virginia.

I am proud that since 1966 Southern Living has been the South’s favorite magazine and that more than 16 million people read it each month.

Please join me in thanking Eleanor for her many contributions to Southern Progress and wishing her well in her new role and congratulating Lindsay on earning the honor of succeeding her.


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EXCLUSIVE: Sam George named new Birmingham Weekly editor

Media of Birmingham has learned that Birmingham Weekly staff writer Sam George will become the alternative newspaper’s editor, starting with the July 8 issue. He succeeds interim editor Jesse Chambers, who served since Glenny Brock’s departure in March.

Sam GeorgeGeorge, left, has been a staff writer since May. He also works as a freelance graphic designer and lead singer for Birmingham-based rock band Bright Henry. Previously, George was editor and lead designer of local music site, Bham.fm.

jesse chambersChambers, right, said via e-mail that George is a “smart, talented, passionate, hard-working guy with enormous enthusiasm for making a great paper and website. He has my complete confidence and support.” Chambers said he had wanted to fill in until a permanent replacement was hired. He will continue as staff writer, including editing the Green Space section.

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Update June 26: Sam George shared more answers to our questions via e-mail …

Will you still continue to write and edit for Bham.fm?

Unfortunately, I will no longer have time to continue Bham.fm. I spoke with Whitney Sides (Mitchell), my co-editor there, and we both agree that the site has been suffering from lack of attention lately and that the best thing to do would be to shut it down. I plan to post an announcement saying as much there this weekend. (Note: Bham.fm started publishing in November 2008.)

It’s been a great pleasure covering the local music scene, and I hope to continue doing so with equal passion at the Weekly, including continuing my regular post “The Daily Dose,” though I plan to expand its scope beyond music. We will also have plenty of support for local bands on the new website we are launching.

Why did you decide to become editor?

I had approached (publisher) Chuck Leishman about writing a regular music column, and he offered me the managing editor gig instead. I decided to take the job because it combines a number of interests I have in one spot. It allows me to continue to cover local music and appeals to my design and photography side while expanding the scope of what I am able to accomplish for the city as a whole.

Also, it’s much better than slinging coffee, which is what I had been doing in the daylight hours.

What are your plans for the Weekly?

The first order of business is to launch our new website. I’ve been spending most of my energy here designing and implementing a brand new site for the Weekly that is really in a different stratum of excellence than the one we have now. It looks great, is easy to navigate, increases the functionality and scope of our site and integrates it further with social media. It also has a really cool digital interactive version of the paper.

I’ve put a lot of love and elbow grease into this thing, and I’m pretty excited to hear what Birmingham thinks about it when we launch, which should be Thursday, provided we can iron out the last wrinkles.

As for the paper itself, I’m still learning what it takes run the thing. I believe that Birmingham has the wealth of culture necessary to become a vibrant and modern metropolis with a strong urban center, and I would like to focus the Weekly on celebrating the things that can lead us towards that goal.

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Update June 27: Whitney Mitchell clarified Bham.fm’s future via e-mail …

“The band is staying together (somewhat). It’s been hard for much of anyone to concentrate on writing with losing jobs (two-thirds of our writers), being full-time students and having “real” jobs. When I started it back in ’08, I had much more time to dedicate to organizing show schedules and attending three to four  concerts a week.

“While the site won’t be the detailed info mecca it was, it is definitely staying alive and restarting as Birmingham’s only kickass music site. (We mean that … it would suck to see it die, y’know?)

“Chris (Mitchell, photo editor) is pretty psyched about revamping the site, so stay tuned for a new layout and daily (still music and regional-focused) postings.”

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EXCLUSIVE: Birmingham Weekly editor laid off

Birmingham Weekly editor Glenny Brock has been laid off after more than 9 years at the alternative newspaper, Media of Birmingham has learned. She characterized the decision and the discussion with publisher Chuck Leishman as “mutually agreed upon.”

Glenny BrockHer last day and issue will be March 11.

Brock said by phone, “Freelancing not withstanding, it’s the only job I’ve ever had as a grownup, and it has made my career.”

It’s the second recent high-profile exit from the publication in less than 5 weeks: Columnist Kyle Whitmire left in late January.

Brock, who recently returned from an extended vacation in India, declined to give specifics on her next endeavor, except to say that she planned to stay in Birmingham and that she would pursue freelance and creative projects.

She started as a freelancer at the publication in August 2000, becoming a full-time staff member in December of that year, serving as contributing writer, staff writer, calendar editor and managing editor. Brock became editor in September 2002.

She added this statement by e-mail:

It’s time. I will always consider the Weekly my proving ground and the first great love of my professional life. I’ve done a lot of good work there and perhaps some great work. Now, after overseeing the completion of more than 460 issues of the paper and dozens of supplemental publications, it’s time to do something else.

When I became editor, I was fortunate to inherit a stable of writers that included Courtney Haden, Scot Lockman, Allen Barra, Kenn McCracken and Brent Thompson. Surely my greatest accomplishment was the recruitment of strong writers such as Kyle Whitmire, Jesse Chambers, Brooke Michael, Molly Folse, J’Mel Davidson, John Seay, Phil Ratliff and many, many others. Dynamos such as Phillip Jordan, Jonathan Purvis, Wes Frazer, Carey Norris, Andrew Thomas Clifton and Ingrid Norton came to the Weekly on their own, but I believe the relationships I have cultivated with these and other writers and artists are what has made the Weekly a respectable publication.

At this point, I can’t say what my future plans are, but my work at the Weekly has made my future possible.

She said that special projects editor Jesse Chambers has been tapped to succeed her as editor. Chambers began freelancing for Birmingham Weekly in 2004 and became a full-time staff writer in 2009.

A message was left with Leishman, and we hope to update with his response shortly.

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EXCLUSIVE: Coastal Living swaps editors

Also, ex-Southern Accents editor departs Southern Progress

Lindsay BiermanSara PetersonLess than 2 years after becoming editor of Coastal Living magazine, Lindsay Bierman is swapping his magazine title and job title. Media of Birmingham has learned that Bierman, shown at left, will become deputy editor of Southern Living on Monday. The move was announced in a company e-mail sent Wednesday (included below).

He had previously been editor of Cottage Living for just a few months before Time Inc. closed the publication.

Coastal Living’s executive editor Sara Peterson, shown at right, will succeed him as editor. The magazine debuted a redesign in 2009.

It’s the second editor change in less than 6 months at Birmingham-based Southern Progress Corporation, after Cooking Light’s swap in September.

All four titles are part of Southern Progress.

Also mentioned in the memo is the departure of Entrée’s editor Karen Carroll, who had also served as editor of Southern Accents before it folded in August. She leaves the company March 31 after 22 years at Southern Progress. Succeeding her is senior editor Alice Doyle.

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The e-mail announcement from Time Inc. Executive Vice President Sylvia Auton …

Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2010 09:17:57 -0500

To: Lifestyle Group Colleagues

From: Sylvia Auton

Re: New Lifestyle Editorial Appointments

I am pleased to announce that Lindsay Bierman has been appointed Deputy Editor of Southern Living, effective March 1st. Sara Peterson will succeed Lindsay as Editor of Coastal Living.

Lindsay is a multi-talented editor who over the last year has developed Coastal Living with great creativity, intelligence and vision. All who work with him admire and respect his tremendous zeal and innovative thinking. Lindsay, who has spent more than half his adult life in the South, joined the company 14 years ago as the first Homes Editor at Coastal Living and served as Executive Editor at Southern Accents before moving to Cottage Living and then back to Coastal Living.

Last fall Eleanor Griffin and her staff restaged Southern Living, which is the country’s 5th largest monthly consumer magazine, to great reader and advertiser acclaim. In his new role, Lindsay will team up with Eleanor to build on this strong momentum.

On Lindsay’s recommendation, Sara, who has served with distinction as his Executive Editor, will also assume her new role on March 1st. A superb talent, Sara was instrumental in honing and executing last year’s redesign and re-launch of Coastal Living. Prior to being named Executive Editor in 2008, Sara had been the Homes Editor of Southern Living. Before moving to Birmingham, she spent six years in New York, where she was the Lifestyle Editor at Redbook and a Senior Editor at Family Life.

Separately, Karen Carroll, Editor of Entrée, a magazine created exclusively for Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, has decided to leave the company at the end of March. Karen’s keen, sophisticated eye was evident throughout the pages of both Entrée and Southern Accents. Karen began her career at Southern Accents as an intern in 1987 and rose to Editor in Chief by 2001, a position she held until that magazine’s closure last year; she added responsibility for Entrée in 1998. Highly respected and admired by the industry and her peers, we thank her for her commitment and contribution over the past two decades and wish her well in the future.

Alice Doyle will succeed Karen as Editor. Prior to joining the company in 2001 as Homes Editor of Southern Living, Alice had previously worked in New York at Saks Fifth Avenue, Women’s Wear Daily, and Elle. As Karen’s right hand at Entrée and Southern Accents, her fashion insights, expertise, creative talent and extensive industry contacts have been invaluable in raising the profile of Entrée.

Please join me in congratulating Lindsay, Sara and Alice on their new positions and wishing Karen the very best.


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EXCLUSIVE: Cooking Light’s editor steps down

Mary Kay Culpepper leaves; Scott Mowbray appointed as replacement

Mary Kay CulpepperScott MowbrayMedia of Birmingham has learned that editor Mary Kay Culpepper is leaving Cooking Light magazine on Oct. 1. Time Inc. executive vice president Sylvia Auton has named Health.com editor Scott Mowbray to replace her at the Southern Progress title.

Cooking Light, started in 1987, debuted a redesign this month created by Mowbray’s design team. The title is ranked No. 51 among U.S. magazines, and No. 7 among Time Inc. mags. Its ad revenue dropped 16 percent from the first half of 2008 to the first half of this year.

Culpepper has led the magazine since 2001 and has been at Southern Progress since 1986. Mowbray has previously served as editor of Popular Science magazine and managing editor of Time Inc. Custom Publishing.

Update: Culpepper says she will pursue a graduate degree in creativity studies at SUNY Buffalo starting in the spring.

Among editors at Birmingham-based Southern Progress, Southern Living’s Eleanor Griffin and Coastal Living’s Lindsay Bierman have been in place less than a year, and Health’s Ellen Kunes has been in place less than 3 years.

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