Confirming widespread industry speculation, Rogers Media president Keith Pelley announced today that Ken Whyte is succeeding the outgoing Brian Segal as president of Rogers Publishing. His appointment is effective Sept. 1.
Whyte, 50, has enjoyed a meteoric rise within Rogers since joining the Toronto-based media company in 2005 as publisher and editor-in-chief of Maclean’s. He steadily assumed responsibility for more titles within the organization and was named vice-president of Rogers Consumer Publishing in August 2010.
In January, he was handed responsibility for the company’s French-language titles in conjunction with his appointment as EVP of consumer publishing.
Speaking with Marketing on Thursday, Whyte characterized his six years with Rogers as a “fairly active, dynamic time,” but dismissed suggestions that his rise within the company has been extraordinarily fast.
“I’ve been here six years, and I think that with Maclean’s it’s the longest time in my career that I’ve been anywhere,” he said. “It doesn’t feel particularly rapid or swift to me. It’s fun to be busy, it’s fun to be trying new things, chasing new opportunities and working with new people.”
In a company-wide announcement issued this morning, Pelley said that Whyte will be an “integral part” of Rogers Media’s senior management team.
His purview will include some of the country’s biggest consumer magazines, including Chatelaine and its French-language counterpart Châtelaine, Hello! Canada and the upcoming Sportsnet magazine, as well as numerous business-to-business titles including Marketing and the Medical Post.
Rogers recently sold 15 trade magazines and their associated properties to Vancouver publisher Glacier Media, and Whyte said it has whittled its publishing assets down to a core group.
“It wasn’t easy to let those publications go, but we were looking at what we thought we as a company could continue to develop and build with,” he said. “We are now able to concentrate better on those titles that have the best future with us. We’re very happy with the portfolio we have, and in a not aggressive but careful and strategic way, we still see opportunities to grow as a company.”
Whyte will also chair the company’s recently assembled RMI Content Council and will be charged with leading the integration of content across Rogers’ various communications platforms—which include TV, radio and mobile.
His immediate priorities, he said, will be around continued improvement of Rogers’ editorial product and continued integration between publishing and other divisions within Rogers Media.
“We want to be best in class in every category that we’re in,” he said. “We have had a great response from our readers and we want to offer them more and more, and continue to reap the returns. We’ve got great brands and we want to make them better.”
Segal announced in April that he was leaving Rogers after 17 years with the company.