Howard Mittman is out as CEO of Bleacher Report, several outlets reported Tuesday, citing an internal memo. One of those, The New York Daily News, reports that Mittman was “forced out” amid sustained criticism in recent weeks over a lack of diversity in leadership roles at Bleacher Report and a perceived failure to adequately and appropriately respond to those criticisms during multiple staff meetings in recent weeks.
Hours before news of Mittman’s departure broke, creative executive Bryan Graham announced he had tendered his resignation from the site after nearly five years, citing “an obvious crisis of leadership that was never more visible than it was in the past 6 weeks.”
Previously the publisher of GQ and Wired, Mittman jumped from Condé Nast to Turner-owned Bleacher Report in 2017, originally in the dual role of CMO and CRO, before being promoted to CEO in February of 2019.
Mittman’s exit, purportedly driven at least in part by pushback from his own staff, comes amid a broader moment of self-reflection across media in general and sports media in particular over a lack of Black representation in editorial and leadership roles. Staff unions at both Sports Illustrated and The Ringer have issued statements in the past month calling out their own organizations and pledging to bargain for better diversity and inclusion.
Turner Sports president Lenny Daniels will assume many of Mittman’s CEO duties in the immediate term, according to multiple reports.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia magazine editor Tom McGrath informed staffers last week that he’s stepping down from that role after 10 years and leaving parent company Metrocorp, citing a need for change at the magazine and advising management to choose a successor “who doesn’t look like me—who isn’t, in other words, a middle-aged white guy.”
“I’ve given almost every ounce of energy I have to this job for the last decade, and at the moment I’m not sure I have enough in my tank to do the job as well as it needs to be done,” McGrath wrote in a staff memo. “But I also have in my head the column that our colleague Ernest Owens wrote last week, noting that real change in our world will only come about when some power is redistributed.”
In addition to Owens’ column, the announcement comes days after the magazine faced criticism from current and former staffers over a lack of representation in its staff and its coverage, including in a Twitter thread by former senior editor and current Vox reporter Fabiola Cineas.
McGrath first joined Philadelphia magazine in 2003, rising to the top of the masthead in 2010 and taking on the additional role of chief content and strategy officer across both Philadelphia and fellow Metrocorp title Boston magazine in 2016. He plans to leave the company at the end of the summer, he said, making the September issue of Philadelphia his last as editor.
His departure will mark the second major leadership change at Metrocorp this year, after longtime chief executive David Lipson relinquished his CEO role and brought in outside management consultant Nick Fischer to replace him in April. Lipson, whose family has owned Philadelphia magazine since the 1940s, remains Metrocorp’s chairman.
On Monday, TIME announced the launch of a new personal finance site, NextAdvisor, a partnership with online publisher Red Ventures which will live as a vertical of Time.com. Helming NextAdvisor as editor-in-chief is Adam Auriemma, the former editor-in-chief of Money, which was a sister brand to Time before both titles were acquired by Meredith Corp. in 2018 and eventually sold off to separate owners. Rounding out the NextAdvisor team are editorial director John Puterbaugh, contributing editor Farnoosh Tarabi, editor Katie Collins and staff writers Alex Gailey, Kendall Little, Taylor Moore and Jason Stauffer.
Elsewhere at TIME, London-based deputy international editor Naina Bajekal is taking on the additional role of editorial director, newsroom development. Previously a reporter for the magazine, Bajekal left for Newsweek in 2016, where she became executive editor of Newsweek International, before re-joining TIME in 2018. She was also a contributing editor to the Fuller Project for International Reporting.
At Endeavor Business Media, Larry Greenberger, executive VP and group publisher of the company’s transportation division, is retiring, effective July 1. A B2B media veteran, Greenberger has been in charge of some of those titles through multiple acquisitions, going back to SouthComm Communications and Cygnus Business Media before that. Prior to joining Cygnus in 2007, he was the publisher of DDI Magazine at VNU Business Media, a group publisher at Penton Business Media and held numerous sales roles over several years at McGraw Hill.
At G/O Media, Alice Bradley has been promoted to editor-in-chief of Lifehacker after spending the past three years as the site’s deputy editor. Prior to that, she was senior parenting editor at SheKnows Media. As EIC, Bradley succeeds Melissa Kirsch, who left Lifehacker last month to join The New York Times as assistant editor, culture and lifestyle.
Harvard University’s Nieman Journalism Lab announced a pair of staff changes Wednesday evening. Starting July 1, longtime director Joshua Benton is returning to his reporting roots as a senior writer, while deputy editor Laura Hazard Owen will take over as editor. Prior to founding Nieman Lab in 2008, Benton was a reporter for the The Dallas Morning News and Toledo, Ohio’s The Blade. Owen has been with Nieman Lab since 2015, when she joined from Gigaom, where she had been managing editor.
Jim Schutze, a former political columnist for The Dallas Observer who was laid off after 22 years with the alt-weekly in a round of cuts in May, has joined D Magazine as a columnist. His first column appears in the magazine’s July issue, out this week.
Andy Cohn, the former publisher of The Fader, has joined the content marketing firm First Tube Media as a senior advisor, according to a press release. Cohn resigned from The Fader after 16 years last November following an independent investigation into accounts of sexual misconduct by the magazine’s former head of content, Eric Sundermann.
Penske Media’s new sports business site Sportico has yet to officially launch, but it has been publishing content via fellow Penske brand Variety since mid-April. On Thursday, the site announced another batch of new hires, which it says “will finalize its editorial roster.”
- Veteran Sports Illustrated editor Sarah Kwak has joined as editor. Kwak had been at SI since 2007, most recently as senior editor, running the magazine’s front-of-book section as well as its NHL, golf and Olympics coverage.
- Matt Bok has been hired as managing editor. He was previously associate editor at Front Office Sports and before that was a longtime reporter and editor at Bloomberg.
- Mike Freeman has joined as sports business reporter. He was most recently a football columnist at Bleacher Report and has written for The New York Times, Washington Post, Dallas Morning News, and the Boston Globe, among others.
- As sports media reporter, Anthony Crupi joins from Ad Age, where he spent the past five years as TV news editor.
- Freelance writer and editor Brendan Coffey has been hired as sports finance reporter. He’s previously written for Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek and Fortune, among numerous others.
- Joining the site as junior reporters are Emily Caron, formerly of Sports Illustrated, and Randall Owens, previously a writer for The Undefeated.
The Atlantic has promoted Bhumi Tharoor, deputy editor of its talent lab, to senior editor, focused on strategy, growth and subscriber retention, Tharoor said Tuesday. She’s been with The Atlantic since 2018, having previously worked as a recruiter at CNN and The Washington Post.
The Financial Times has named Eric Platt its new U.S. markets editor, Platt said Tuesday. He’s been with the FT since 2013, previously as a correspondent on U.S. mergers and acquisitions and U.S. capital markets.
Russell Dembin, managing editor of American Theatre, is stepping down from that role and leaving the magazine after seven years as part of a “strategic realignment” at parent company Theatre Communications Group, the magazine said in an announcement last week.
View previous editions of ‘People on the Move’ here:
- 6/10/20: Harper’s Bazaar names new EIC; The Information adds two tech reporters
- 6/3/20: Endeavor Business Media announces several hires; Forbes CRO joins Penske Media
- 5/20/20: Meredith brings in ‘Access Hollywood’ EP; Bob Guccione, Jr. rejoins Spin
- 5/7/20: Penske names first chief digital officer; CEO Alex Ford departs Praetorian Digital