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Yahoo Puts Martha Nelson, Former Time Inc. Exec, in Charge of All Media

Yahoo has put Martha Nelson, previously a longtime Time Inc. senior editorial executive, in charge of its overall media strategy, including video.

Nelson joined Yahoo in August as senior VP and global editor-in-chief, and is now in charge of the company’s content businesses including video, a Yahoo rep confirmed. Her title remains unchanged. The expansion of her duties was reported earlier by Re/Code.net.

Yahoo’s promotion of Nelson comes after the company’s costly foray into long-form scripted original series, a strategy that CEO Marissa Mayer pulled the plug on in recent months. Media strategy previously was led by ex-CMO Kathy Savitt, who quit to join STX Entertainment last month.

Yahoo took a $42 million write-down on “Community” and two other series for the third quarter of 2015, after the show failed to attract audiences or advertisers at a scale that would make them profitable anytime soon; the company said it is taking a “pause” on long-form TV-style video.

Prior to Yahoo, Nelson worked at Time Inc. for 20 years, most recently as EIC of the mag publisher overseeing all editorial. Nelson departed Time Inc. in 2013, when Norman Pearlstine returned to the company.

With Nelson in charge of Yahoo’s overall content strategy, it appears Mayer wants to redouble its focus on targeted, vertical “digital magazines,” such as Yahoo Style, Yahoo Travel, Yahoo Tech and Yahoo Food. On the video front, the company has been upping short-form original content produced for the magazine destinations.

Nelson was the founding editor of InStyle, leading the title from 1993-2002. Her subsequent stints at Time Inc. included managing editor of People, group editor of style and entertainment group, and editorial director of Time Inc.

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