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Promotions and Further Layoffs at Rodale

Rodale announced today that Mary Murcko has been promoted to senior vice president and publisher of Prevention, and Jack Essig has been promoted to senior vice president and will now serve as publisher for both Men’s Health and Women’s Health. The full release announcing these changes is after the jump.

Meanwhile, MediaWeek is reporting that Rodale has also cut 20 staffers including former VP of Prevention Bob Ziltz, whom Murcko was tapped to replace in the above announcement. MW also notes that ad pages at all three titles — Prevention, Men’s Health, and Women’s Health — declined by double digits through March.


Emmaus, PA, and New York, NY, March 2, 2009 – Rodale Inc. today
announced that Mary Murcko has been promoted to Senior Vice President and
Publisher of Prevention, and Jack Essig has been promoted to Senior Vice
President and will now add Women’s Health to his portfolio, serving as
Publisher for both Men’s Health and Women’s Health, effective immediately.
Murcko and Essig will continue to report to MaryAnn Bekkedahl, EVP, Group
Publisher. Bob Ziltz, previously Publisher of Prevention, is leaving the
company.

Murcko, most recently VP, Publisher of Women’s Health, will now lead the
advertising sales and trade marketing efforts across the Prevention brand,
including print, online, and events. Essig will assume responsibility for
all sales
and trade marketing efforts across both the Men’s Health and Women’s Health
brands, including print, online, and events.

“Both Mary and Jack have maintained exemplary track records, and I can
think of no other two executives better positioned to help elevate Rodale’s
three largest brands,” said Bekkedahl. “Under Mary’s leadership, Women’s
Health experienced several years of tremendous growth. I have the utmost
confidence that she will seamlessly transition her skills and talent to
Prevention-the 11th largest magazine in the United States-to help identify
new business and advertising opportunities across the brand, including its
well-trafficked Web site and multiple extensions such as Flat Belly Diet!
And
with Jack now overseeing both Men’s Health and Women’s Health, we can
answer the call of marketers who are looking for more opportunities to
partner
with us across both of these vital brands. His innovative thinking will be
invaluable in this endeavor.”

Throughout her tenure as VP, Publisher of Women’s Health, Murcko led the
brand to realize explosive growth and become a formidable leader in the
women’s marketplace. In 2008, during a year in which the print industry
overall was down 12% in ad pages, Women’s Health was up 12%, marking the
9th highest percent increase of all PIB measured magazines. Women’s Health
earned the #1 spot on Mediaweek’s “10 Under 50″ Hot List and the #2
position on the Ad Age A List last year. Murcko was also named a MIN Sales
Team Leader of the Year in 2008. Reporting to Murcko will be Eric Johnson,
who has been promoted to Associate Vice President/Associate Publisher,
Prevention, and Christopher Cormier, who has been promoted to Associate
Publisher, Prevention. Previously, Johnson and Cormier were Associate
Publisher and Ad Director, respectively, at Women’s Health.

Under Essig, Men’s Health has also continued to flourish, consistently
finishing
in the top three in terms of market share among its competitive set. He has
driven www.MensHealth.com advertising revenues to reach 8.5% of the
brand’s total revenues, with a 16.2% jump in revenues from online sales in
2008 alone. Essig launched several innovative initiatives in 2008, such as
the
industry’s first fully interactive advertising issue. Joining Women’s Health
from
Prevention and reporting to Essig will be Diane Malloy, who has been
promoted to Associate Vice President/Associate Publisher, Women’s Health.
Also reporting to Essig will be Ronan Gardiner, who has been promoted to
Associate Vice President/Associate Publisher, Men’s Health.

Bringing both the Men’s Health and Women’s Health teams together will allow
the company to realize sales, marketing, and administrative efficiencies,
and
the company expects to eliminate duplicative and other positions as a
result.

“With these changes, we are elevating Rodale’s top talent and positioning
ourselves for the opportunities that lie ahead,” said Bekkedahl. “I look
forward
to seeing Mary, Jack, Diane, Eric, Christopher, and Ronan thrive in their
new
roles and share their knowledge and expertise across our largest brands.”

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