TVNewser FishbowlDC AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote PRNewser SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Posts Tagged ‘Tom Williams’

RDA Selling Lifestyle & Entertainment Direct

Reader’s Digest Association is selling its Lifestyle & Entertainment Direct business as it continues to shed properties. The direct marketing segment sells a wide variety of products — like exercise equipment, music collections and videos — that are typically seen on infomercials.

A source told The New York Post that part of the problem at Lifestyle & Entertainment Direct was an inability to adapt by featuring new products, and that former RDA CFO Tom Williams was incapable of guiding the business out of its doldrums.

Lifestyle & Entertainment Direct reported an operating loss of $292 million last fiscal year.

Mediabistro Course

Get a Literary Agent

Get a Literary AgentStarting August 6, learn how to find the right agent for your book and write a query that will get the deal done! Taught by Barbara Clark, a book agent and publishing consultant, you will learn the best methods for finding a literary agent, the proper protocol and etiquette for seeking literary representation, how to send queries and more. Register now!

Reader’s Digest Association Gets Third CEO in Five Months

Reader’s Digest Association has yet another new CEO. The New York Post reports that Robert Guth, a board member, will replace Tom Williams, who was just named to the position in April.

The move is just more bad news for the company. Its most prominent magazine aside from Reader’s Digest, Every Day with Rachael Ray, has been getting bested by a big competitor, Food Network Magazinefor years now. On top of that ratings firms recently downgraded the company from stable to negative.

Guth clearly has his work cut out for him.

Will Reader’s Digest Association Sell Off Popular Food Website Allrecipes?

Earlier this week we reported that Mary Berner was stepping down as CEO of Reader’s Digest Association, and now Adweek is providing some potential backstory to this change.

The naming of CFO Tom Williams as Berner’s replacement prompted speculation that the company plans to sell off some of its assets, in particular, the highly popular food website Allrecipes.com, which RDA bought in 2006, prior to Berner’s arrival. This raises some eyebrows, because of just how well Allrecipes is doing:

Seattle-based Allrecipes has more than doubled its traffic in that time, becoming one of the biggest food sites on the Web. In March, monthly uniques approached 17 million, making Allrecipes the top food site, per comScore.

The word is that Berner “clashed” over this direction of the company with its new board. In the past, Berner has conceded Allrecipies was a “hot topic,” but has not stated that the company plans to sell it.

Mary Berner Departs Reader’s Digest Association

Min is reporting that Mary Berner is stepping down as Reader’s Digest Association’s CEO, and will be replaced by current CFO Tom Williams. Berner has been with RDA since 2007, and though the company went through bankruptcy under her leadership, she said in a statement that there are better days ahead.

Williams has been with RDA since 2009, and previously served as the CFO for Affinion Group and AT&T.

Reader’s Digest Files For Ch. 11

rda.pngOne week after announcing its intention to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Reader’s Digest Association Inc. filed the necessary paperwork with the bankruptcy court yesterday.

In a release about the filing, the Reader’s Digest publisher said that 80 percent of its senior secured lenders had already agreed to the restructuring plan that was part of the filing. The Chapter 11 filing will only affect the company’s U.S. operations, the company added.

“Our business operations remain solid, with anticipated Fiscal 2009 revenue only down by low single digits, currency neutral, despite the recession,” said Mary Berner, the company’s president and CEO, in a statement. “We look forward to emerging with a restructured balance sheet and as a financially stronger organization that is positioned to pursue our growth and transformational initiatives.”

Read more