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Joanna Coles is moving on to a brand new media chapter. On Tuesday, Hearst announced that Cosmopolitan's editor-in-chief is departing the magazine and has been named the company's first-ever chief content officer, effective immediately. According to a statement, Coles will work with U.S. and international Hearst editors on "magazine development activities," as well as television projects, events, "new advertising projects," branded content, consumer research, books and more. (Hearst owns 21 magazines in the U.S., about 300 international editions and publishes 19 magazines in the UK.) She will continue to report to Hearst Magazines President David Carey.
"I love Cosmo, but I gave it everything I had," said Coles to The New York Times, who also reported that Cosmopolitan's new editor-in-chief will be named Tuesday afternoon. "I just didn't have another sex position in me."
Coles took on the editorial direction of Seventeen in 2014, just two years after she assumed the top job at Cosmopolitan and eight years after she joined Hearst as the editor-in-chief of Marie Claire, where she revitalized circulation and formed the magazine's partnership with "Project Runway." Coles is most associated with Cosmopolitan, however, where she has refined the brand's "fun, fearless life" message in print, online and mobile, tackling topics including women's right to choose, gun safety and closing the wage gap. In addition, Coles joined the board of Snapchat in late 2015 and has orchestrated relationships between Hearst and the app. She is also planning a return to television, following her role in the 2009 reality series "Running in Heels," set at Marie Claire. Coles is the executive producer of two shows currently in development: an NBC scripted series based on her life and an E! reality show set at Cosmopolitan.
"Joanna is a powerhouse modern editor — she has strengthened the thought-leadership of Cosmopolitan and established deep relationships with major players in advertising, technology, entertainment and government," said Carey in a statement.
The overarching position echoes that of Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, who was promoted to artistic director of Condé Nast in 2013 before turning her attention to Lucky, Self, Teen Vogue and Architectural Digest. (Wintour remains the editor-in-chief of Vogue, however.) Elsewhere in editorial leadership changes, Laura Brown was just named editor-in-chief of InStyle last month after Ariel Foxman resigned in July. Fashion week seating charts are about to get interesting.
Update 9/6: Hearst also announced Tuesday that Michele Promaulayko has been named Coles's replacement as both editor in chief of Cosmopolitan and editorial director of Seventeen. Most recently, Promaulayko served as the editor in chief of Yahoo Health until the vertical was shut down in February and, before that, she was the editor in chief of Women's Health. Promaulayko was also previously the executive editor at Cosmopolitan for eight years under Kate White. She is the author "Look Better Naked" and "20 Pounds Younger" and sits on ASME’s Board of Directors.
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