Jess Cagle who has spent nearly a quarter century at Time Inc., and the last few years at the helm of Entertainment Weekly, has been tapped to take over the country's popular (and profitable) weekly magazine, People. In a memo released today, the news was announced that People's longtime editor, Larry Hackett, is departing Time Inc. and Cagle will take his spot at the top of the masthead. He also assumes the role of editorial director of Entertainment Weekly and will name a new top editor for the magazine shortly.
Cagle, who was honored in the 2011 Out100, has certainly shaped EW's coverage, especially in regards to how gay celebrities are handled in the media. As we stated 2011, EW has had a major crush on Glee (and has surely helped its audience grow over the years), and has celebrated TV's gay teen characters in a groundbreaking cover story in 2011. "That would have been unthinkable when the magazine started two decades ago," Cagle explained. The magazine followed that with a 2012 cover story about the "New Art of Coming Out in Hollywood."
This isn't the beginning of major changes at the embattled media company. As we reported in October, Martha Nelson, Time Inc.'s most recent editor in chief (and the founding editor of InStyle magazine), also left the company after more than 20 years.
As David Geither, president of Time Inc.'s style and entertainment group, stated in the memo:
Jess began his career at Time Inc. as a reporter for PEOPLE in 1987. He then moved on to be part of the EW 1990 launch team and played a key role in defining the brand’s unique voice. From 2000 to 2002 he served as senior editor at TIME, then returned to PEOPLE and broke some of the magazine’s biggest celebrity stories while appearing as a regular contributor to CBS News broadcasts. One of the industry’s most recognized and respected entertainment journalists, Jess’s frequent television appearances include co-hosting the official ABC Academy Awards Red Carpet pre-show four out of the last five years.