Add in a slew of strong-willed editors overseeing 19 independent brands, and it’s nearly impossible. But for Troy Young—Adweek’s Magazine Executive of the Year—the challenge proved far from insurmountable. In the two-plus years since becoming president of Hearst Magazines Digital Media, Young has successfully unified the publisher’s print and digital brands into a single, well-oiled machine whose traffic has surged 157 per cent, leading to a 75 per cent revenue hike.
When he first joined Hearst, Young already had more than two decades of digital experience behind him. As president of Say Media, he went from selling the company’s first ad to overseeing more than US$100m in annual revenue. Prior to that, Young was the chief experience officer of Omnicom digital agency Organic where he helped to guide clients American Express, Chrysler and Bank of America into the digi-sphere. His background led to a unique role at Hearst at a time when editorial and advertising oversight remained largely separate. As president of HMDM, Young oversees not only business development, technology and operations for Hearst’s digital brands but also editorial content.
While others might have spent months testing the waters, Young wasn’t afraid to institute sweeping changes—or ruffle a few feathers—right off the bat. He quickly replaced top digital editors at Cosmopolitan and Elle, moved magazine Web teams from their dedicated brand offices to a new, multibrand digital space, and began relaunching the website of each Hearst brand.
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