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Summary:

Updated: Two years after arriving at Glam Media from Conde Nast, publishing industry vet Joe Lagani has left the company to join NBC Univers…

Joe Lagani

Updated: Two years after arriving at Glam Media from Conde Nast, publishing industry vet Joe Lagani has left the company to join NBC Universal’s iVillage, which is currently in the middle of its latest turnaround. IVillage says that Lagani, who was most recently Glam’s head of client sales, will become iVillage’s SVP of ad sales, where he will have responsibility for display, sponsorship and content integration revenue. He will report to Jodi Kahn, iVillage’s EVP and Peter Naylor, SVP, NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) Digital Ad Sales. The hiring is considered to be a coup internally, given the intense competition.

iVillage recently completed its latest redesign. With Lagani’s hire, iVillage is hoping to get a leg up on its competition for scarce advertising, as even women’s magazine publishers continue the struggle for marketing dollars. Lagani has a lot of experience in the space. Before coming to Glam in Oct. 2007, Lagani was VP/Publisher for House & Garden. Prior to that, he was vice president and publishing director for Meredith (NYSE: MDP) Corporation.

Lagani’s hiring comes the same week that Glam promoted Jack Rotolo to president & general manager of its North American operations, a new position. Glam had told paidContent that there would likely be one or two executive shifts at the company as a result of Rotolo’s promotion; Then again, we’ve also heard Lagani’s internal announcement that he was leaving for the competition may have prompted some of the changes.

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  1. No surprise to people, Lagani came from print publishing and did not really get online media. He had a minor role at Glam in sales development and talking to brands under Carl Portale, but did not really have an operational job or group. Surprising that iVillage hired a print person to run sales, sounds like desperate moves as it tries to save itself. The word on the street is that they had a hard time finding a senior person to take the job. Not a great hire, they could have brought a strong internet sales leader from Yahoo, MTV, or Fox instead.

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  2. iVillage, like most web 1.0 companies hit their peak in 1999 in the dot com bubble. After their stock slide from 2B to 500M, they were acquired by NBCU for 600M. Since the acquisition the numbers have gotten worse and worse and a really horrible place to work. Every few months there are rumors that NBC is trying to sell it, but can't seem to find a buyer.

    The team lies about their size all the time saying they have 20m unique visitors — ivillage.com is only 2m visitors and has 9m visitors to all their own properties. The rest is a network of sites like blogher, that are not exclusive and many that want to leave them.

    The traffic is bought using keywords like "sex position of the day" see http://tinyurl.com/nrqo7k resulting in very low user engagement and only 100m page views. Do family brads like Target know their adds are running next to this trash? Should see any SEO report on iVillage or Neilsen/Comscore before buying.

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  3. NBC did not do their homework and is aurprised, Everyone inside and outside knew that Joe had a minor role within Glam and the writing was on the wall. The transition of Rotolo to a larger role started months ago with Scott and John out and he started to run the weekly meetings. Clearly a power shuffle with Rotolo winning given results delivered by him and his team and he wanting to build his own team.

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  4. @realitycheck,

    we keep reading the soapy stories about glam with excruciating detail, rants and analysis on their company's every move. If what you are saying is true about ivillage, then why doesn't paidcontent dig deeper and report on ivillage too?

    if they were a web company the tech blogs would eat them alive if they are buying sex keywords and are misrepresenting their reach, these are simple to verify on the web. what about some fact checks on their business? what do they own, how large is it, who does they reach, how much time do they spend, and what are the trends?

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  5. "His hiring is considered to be a coup internally, given the intense competition."

    What a bunch of crock! Paid Content needs some fact checking! Simple questions like: What was Joe's role at Glam? Sales Development & Clients. How many employees worked for Joe? 4 in sales development. What was Joe's sales team quota? None. How many Sales Rep's worked for Joe? None. How many digital agencies know Joe? None. Carl Portale from Elle is Glam's rain maker with print brand clients.

    How can it be considered a coup, if Joe was not running any part of Sales at Glam? Other than the ego of saying they hired a Glam person who was minor since the last re-org, NBC lost a chance to hire a real sales leader for their team.

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  6. @Judy that reflects their claim and is meant to show what is going on with iVillage. Thanks for adding your thoughts on the subject.

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  7. @ Judy: Lagani is considered a "coup" by iVillage because of his name recognition within the industry and not whether he was in charge of managing a large team. Glam certainly considered him a coup when they hired him from Conde Nast, didn't they?

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  8. Wow. Actively trashing your former employees. Do you understand you're saying more about Glam than you are about Joe Lagani?

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  9. @staci @ david: thanks, I can see how iVillage can feel this is a coup for them and at the same time no real loss for Glam as they reorg under Rotolo, thanks for clarifying that. Your post has been very fair about this.

    However, there is a growing feeling amongst bloggers that NBC is used to "force feeding" stories to journalists because they are so large and powerful in broadcast. Could you set the record straight by asking them or publishing a industry report on what their turnaround actually means? There are a lot of comments saying they lie about being a destination and have a lot of other sites they don't own. Can you go on record and find out when they say 20m users, what that means and how much has their site has actually grown since the redesign. There is a lot of confusion around this.

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  10. All you need to know is iVillage is and has been dead for a long time.

    Glam is where the growth and reach is from the day Samir started the company.

    You have to know most people in Glam, does not even know who Lagani is to show you how insignificant his role was at Glam Media. In other words, iVillage can only pick up what we are not interested in anymore.

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