Battista comes to the publishing world after 25 years on the other side of the entertainment industry, most recently as CEO of Mandalay Sports Media. He spent 18 of those years in various roles at News Corp., rising to become prexy of Fox’s national cable networks. Battista also spent time as CEO of Gemstar-TV Guide International.
In his new position, Battista hopes to use his entertainment background to catalyze the magazines’ multimedia growth. “People and EW are iconic brands; they’re powerful and influential brands,” Rich told Variety. “There are incredible opportunities, I believe, to extend these brands to other parts of media that I have experience with: television and digital video, or digital media in general.”
Between Battista’s experience with TV Guide magazine and his time at Fox and MSM, he feels poised to take the helm in a landscape where the lines between traditional publishing and digital media continue to blur. “Consumers love these brands,” Rich says. “As the world evolves, it’s important and incumbent upon us to make sure that we’re allowing people to consume them on every platform.”
His new role will have Battista reporting to Time Inc. chairman and CEO Joe Ripp at the company’s New York headquarters. Battista assumes the position on April 6.