NEW YORK — Lisa Valk was named publisher of Time magazine and Ann Moore was named publisher of People in a broad realignment of management duties announced Monday by Time Warner's Time Inc. Magazine Co. unit.
The 41-year-old Valk, a Harvard MBA who became publisher of Life in 1986 and of People in 1988, will be the first woman to run the flagship publication of the nation's largest magazine company.
The magazine unit also announced that it will relocate its Time Publishing Ventures division headquarters to an as-yet-undetermined location in Southern California from New York. Robert L. Miller, 42, was named president of the division, which oversees such regional and specialty publications as Sunset and Parenting.
"It's too early to know what the staffing level will be," said magazine company spokesman Peter Costiglio, adding that the division's hierarchy now is made up of fewer than a dozen people.
Although Time's California magazines are based in the north, the division is moving to the Southland to allow Miller to work more closely with colleagues at Time's sister company, Warner Bros., on magazine "franchise extensions" in the cable, television and film industries.
Time Inc. Magazine Co. also named two other divisional presidents. Donald M. Elliman Jr., 46, will become president of the company's sales and marketing division. Christopher Meigher, 44, was named president of the newly created New York magazine division, which includes all of the company's New York-based publications.
As part of their new roles, Miller will oversee magazine company business in the Pacific and Meigher will be responsible for Europe.
Magazine unit President Reginald K. Brack Jr. said the new assignments will permit the company to focus more closely on advertising sales, expand internationally and expand into new media forms such as cable.
The changes come amid the worst magazine advertising slump in two decades. Time magazine's year-to-date advertising pages were down 20.37% through July 1, according to Media Industry Newsletter, while People's pages were off 15.8%.
"Almost all the major weeklies have been hard hit," newsletter Editor Steven Cohn said.
Valk said in an interview that she only learned of her new assignment over the weekend and "it would be foolish of me" to discuss any plans she had for the magazine.
" I would love to say that I've got all this figured out and have this great plan," she added, "but there's a long process for me to get up to speed."
Valk, who was surprised at the stir when she became Life's first woman publisher, said she believes that her sex is even less of an issue today. "I haven't even focused on it," she said. "I haven't stopped to think: Wow, I'm a woman."
Valk and Moore--who is also 41 and a Harvard MBA and had been publisher of Sports Illustrated for Kids--take over as publishers a week after the magazine unit announced that advertising directors at each of the company's magazines would report to companywide regional advertising sales vice presidents instead of to the publishers of individual titles.
The stated reason for the move was to bring decision-making closer to customers of the magazine unit and to facilitate sales in multiple titles. Still, as a result of the change, people in the magazine industry are asking: "Will Valk and Moore be publishers without portfolio?" as one industry observer put it.
Valk, on the other hand, said she is enthusiastic about the new advertising sales structure, saying it will free her to focus on strategic planning, long-term positioning and other issues.
Louis A. Weil was U.S. publisher of Time magazine until he resigned from the company in February, and his duties were assumed by Miller, who was then worldwide publisher. With Valk's appointment, the two jobs have been combined.