One of the longest-serving chief executives in the media industry is stepping down.
Frank A. Bennack Jr., chief executive of Hearst Corp. since 1979, will give up that title in June. Steven Swartz, currently president and chief operating officer, will become CEO. Bennack will remain vice chairman of the Hearst Board.
Although best known for its magazine unit, which includes Cosmopolitan and Esquire, Hearst also has a major presence in the TV industry. It owns stakes in several powerful cable networks including ESPN, A&E, History and Lifetime. It is also one of the nation's largest owners of local TV stations, with 29 outlets, many in the nation's biggest markets.
"Since Frank first stepped into the role of CEO in 1979, Hearst has seen unparalleled growth: 90% of the businesses we are in today did not exist or were not part of our company when his tenure began," said William R. Hearst III, chairman of the Hearst Board.