Memo Pad: Roll of the Dice... Musical Chairs... Serious About Green..

Like every other conventional publisher, Hearst is gambling on the Web.

ROLL OF THE DICE: Like every other conventional publisher, Hearst is gambling on the Web. But unlike most, it's also on one serious shopping spree. It's only September, but Chuck Cordray, vice president, general manager of Hearst Magazines Digital Media, said it has already "accomplished much of what we wanted to do" in the digital space this year. Hearst Magazines' recent acquisition of brings a slew of activities to a close, including the February launch of nine mobile sites for titles such as Harper's Bazaar, Cosmogirl, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, House Beautiful, Marie Claire, Redbook and Seventeen. In addition, 14 magazine Web sites have launched, as well as,, and, which will go from beta to full-scale site in November. But Hearst isn't all about in-house development: the company has also acquired and shopping site Kaboodle was jointly purchased by Hearst Magazines Digital Media and Hearst Interactive Media. Ugo Networks, an online entertainment company, was bought solely by Interactive Media.

So what does Cordray expect next? In 2008, the plan is to spend more time growing the existing properties and integrating the marketing components. And that's no easy task. The majority of digital agencies tend to buy by demographic, instead of by brand, so Hearst has to figure out a way to package its magazines with its acquired Web properties, such as Kaboodle, without disrupting the current ad-dollar flow to either. Cordray claimed the magazine sites, such as, are "well ahead of the plan," and, like at every print-focused company, represent a big source of growth. Any further acquisitions will depend on Hearst's capabilities — and the asking price, of course. Kaboodle, for example, was acquired (versus developing a similar site in-house), "because I don't know if we could have built it on our own," Cordray said. — Amy Wicks

Joanne Lipman on Thursday made two high-level moves and filled a hole on the masthead left vacant since she dismissed deputy editor Jim Impoco last month. Managing editor Blaise Zerega is giving up that post to become deputy editor as of next month, and Jacob Lewis, currently managing editor of The New Yorker, will replace Zerega as managing editor. Zerega is relocating to San Francisco with his family at the end of the year, where he worked for three years as managing editor of Wired before joining Portfolio. In his new post, Zerega will focus on editorial duties, as opposed to managing the day-to-day operations. He will oversee technology coverage and special issues, and work more with managing editor Chris Jones. — Stephanie D. Smith
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