Norman Pearlstine
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Veteran New York editorial honcho returns to an old roost as magazine house prepares for spinoff

Norman Pearlstine, the veteran publishing executive who has held senior editorial stints at Time Inc. and The Wall Street Journal, is set to return to the New York magazine publisher as it prepares to spin off from its parent company, Time Warner,

Pearlstine, who for the past five years has served as chief content officer at Bloomberg L.P., will hold the same title at the storied magazine house, which publishes Time, Sports Illustrated and People, among other titles.

At the same time, the company will decentralize its editorial operations, so that editors of various titles will report to heads of the individual business unit in which their publication is housed. The move reverses a longstanding corporate tradition under which managing editors at various magazines reported to a central editorial head. As a result, the company’s current top editor, Martha Nelson, will leave Time Inc. after a 20-year stint.

Effective immediately, editors will report into the group presidents of the unit that houses their business:   David Geithner for style & entertainment, Evelyn Webster for lifestyle and Todd Larsen for news and sports.

“Norm will have oversight of our editorial policies and a dotted line responsibility for editors,” said Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp in a memo to employees. ” As Chief Content Officer, his primary focus will be working with business and edit teams to drive the development of new content experiences and products throughout our portfolio that will fuel future revenue growth.”

The idea, said Ripp, was to get editorial and business teams to work more closely together while shedding a layer of bureaucracy at the magazine concern. “With the headwinds facing our industry, we must approach our business through a more entrepreneurial lens ,” he said in the memo.

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