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Will New Management Turn Around These Magazine Companies?

Next year will be the first year since the ’90s that the four largest magazine companies in the U.S. will have new leaders.

Time Inc. hired Jack Griffin; Conde Nast promoted Robert A. Sauerberg. Meredith promoted Tom Harty, and Hearst hired David Carey.

This makes 2011 a year to watch, says the NYT’s Jeremy Peters.

In the mid-1990s, a similar revolution took place, but it was spread out over two years, Peters writes. But then, “the new cadre of executives at the time would steer their companies through periods of expansion and prosperity through the rest of the decade and beyond, an era when successful publications like O: The Oprah Magazine, Teen Vogue and Real Simple were born…Whether the rebound from the economic collapse of 2008 and 2009 will prove as robust is an unsettled — and, to many, an unsettling — question.”

One change coming up: higher cover prices. Both Time Inc.’s Griffin and Conde’s Sauerberg copped to the notion they were planning to up prices. We spent a tremendous amount of money creating original content, original journalism, fact-checking, sending reporters overseas to cover wars,” Griffin told Peters. “You name it. What we’ve got to do as a business is get fair value for that.”

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