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PRELUDE TO A REBOOT: Time magazine on Friday tapped longtime reporter and editor Jim Frederick to oversee its Web site, and immediately supplied him with marching orders. “We’re already talking about a comprehensive redesign and rethink of the site — that’s definitely in the works,” Frederick said. Time.com has been without a managing editor since November, when rising star Josh Tyrangiel departed to head up BusinessWeek after Bloomberg LP acquired it.
Frederick is a veteran Time staffer who left in 2008 to write a book about the Iraq war. He recently returned on what he called an “informal” basis and has been working on Web site-related projects. Among other undertakings, he helped launch NewsFeed, a dedicated box on the homepage and an accompanying blog meant to grab readers with trending topics and search engine-optimized content. (On Friday, the section offered an item about BP’s Tony Hayward alongside a slide show on the new additions to the cast of “Toy Story 3”). Frederick praised the site’s current content, but said a redesign might make it more navigable. “We’re not sure that all of that is easy to find for readers,” he said. He added a redesigned site would look to create more reader interaction and be more social-media friendly. Time.com’s last overhaul was in September 2008. Frederick, who also was named executive editor of the magazine, said another complete redesign wouldn’t come before next year.
Time is the Web leader among newsweeklies, but could be looking to fend off competition from a recent renovation at newsweek.com and a bolstered businessweek.com. According to Internet research firm comScore, Time’s site had 10.3 million unique visitors last month, while Newsweek’s had 5.7 million and BusinessWeek’s 7.3 million. Bloomberg and BusinessWeek combined, however, counted 11.3 million unique, unduplicated visitors. — Matthew Lynch