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Rodale Group Publisher Bekkedahl Decamps For Digital Pursuits

Bekkedahl.jpgMaryAnn Bekkedahl, the EVP/group publisher at Rodale Inc., today announced plans to leave the publisher after 17 years. Rodale said Bekkedahl was departing “in order to pursue digital and new media opportunities,” although any specific plans weren’t mentioned.

“While I’ve enjoyed participating in this whirlwind of new media evolution through my role at Rodale, I now believe that the time is right for me to engage in these emerging trends in a new way,” she said in the announcement. “One of my proudest achievements at Rodale was building such a strong and talented sales and marketing team, and I know my colleagues will continue to serve our clients with the same creativity, innovation and service that make them the best in the business.”

Bekkedahl started at Rodale as a sales rep for Prevention. She moved up to positions like senior VP and global brand director for Men’s Health and publisher of Men’s Health.

Sigh. Another talented member of the print media world, defecting to the Web.

Full release after the jump


EVP/Group Publisher MaryAnn Bekkedahl to Leave Rodale

New York, NY, December 8 – Rodale Inc. today announced that MaryAnn Bekkedahl, EVP/Group Publisher, has decided to leave the company. After 17 successful years at Rodale, Bekkedahl has decided to move on in order to pursue digital and new media opportunities.

“MaryAnn has been a huge asset to Rodale, and I am sad to see her go,” said Rodale CEO and Chairman Maria Rodale. “It would be impossible to list all of her many accomplishments, but there are some highlights that truly stand out. She integrated our print and digital sales groups into one blended team, leading the way for the industry; she has managed major, complex integrated programs with key marketers such as Nissan, Westin, and Jeep, and she has seen us through many corporate milestones.”

As EVP/Group Publisher, Bekkedahl oversaw the sales and marketing teams for Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Prevention, Runner’s World, Bicycling, Running Times, Mountain Bike, and Organic Gardening. AdWeekMedia named her Publishing Executive of the Year in 2009, and based on the strength of her leadership, Ad Age named Rodale the Publishing Company of the Year in 2006.

Bekkedahl began her career at Rodale in 1992 as a sales rep at Prevention. She also served as Senior Vice President and Global Brand Director for Men’s Health, where she oversaw not only advertising, but also brand extensions, including its international expansion, product licensing, video and broadband content, mobile services, and digital media activities. She has also served as Publisher of Men’s Health and Associate Publisher of Men’s Health International.

“While I’ve enjoyed participating in this whirlwind of new media evolution through my role at Rodale, I now believe that the time is right for me to engage in these emerging trends in a new way,” said Bekkedahl. “One of my proudest achievements at Rodale was building such a strong and talented sales and marketing team, and I know my colleagues will continue to serve our clients with the same creativity, innovation and service that make them the best in the business.”

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