In addition, two top ex-Time Inc. execs — Karen Kovacs, president of brand development, and Brad Elders, EVP and chief revenue officer — will leave Meredith “to pursue other career opportunities” effective at the end of March, the media company said.
The management changes come after Meredith completed the $1.85 billion acquisition of Time Inc. in late January.
In the new role, Gersh — a veteran of the TV biz who joined Time Inc. in 2016 — also will oversee Meredith’s National Media Group television production division. His appointment coincides with EW’s move to L.A.; this week’s issue of the mag marks the final issue that will be published out of New York.
Gersh has served as senior VP, strategy and brand business development, and GM of People, EW and People en Español. In the new role, Gersh will have full operational oversight of the brands, including print, digital and video content; sales and marketing; and brand business development. Gersh reports directly to Meredith president and CEO Tom Harty.
With Gersh’s appointment, People/EW editorial director Jess Cagle will report to Gersh. Previously, Cagle reported to Alan Murray, chief content officer of Meredith’s Time Inc. brands
“We are extremely pleased to have someone with Bruce’s talent and extensive experience in the entertainment industry leading these powerhouse brands,” Harty said in a statement. “People was a key driver behind Meredith’s acquisition of Time Inc., and we are delighted that Bruce has accepted this opportunity to build on its strong base and position the People brand for further growth.”
Before coming to Time Inc., Gersh spent more than 15 years in the entertainment industry.
That included eight years at the Disney-ABC Television Group, where he was SVP of business development. Gersh also was EVP and head of digital, strategy and branded entertainment at ITV Studios America; global head of media and entertainment at Allison+Partners; and SVP of strategy & operations and intellectual property at the William Morris Agency.
In his previous role at Time Inc., Gersh led biz-dev efforts across all Time Inc. U.S. brands and brand licensing. That included the launch of and oversight of over-the-top networks PeopleTV and SI TV.
Regarding the exit of Kovacs and Elders, a company rep said in a statement, “We thank Karen and Brad for their many contributions, especially during the recent transition to Meredith ownership, and wish them well as they pursue their next opportunities.”