Updated: Several more sources have confirmed that Michael Wolff will be joining E5 Global Media as the editorial director of the Adweek Group of magazines. While all acknowledge that major change is needed in terms of the group’s strategic direction, many are uncertain if Wolff is the person to provide it. As one source put it, “How does [E5 Global Media CEO Richard] Beckman go from Peter Kaplan to [Wolff]? Does he have a plan or is he flailing for a big name?” We will probably find out as soon as this afternoon, according to additional sources. Other sources also said that the announcement had been delayed on Friday due to Beckman being out of town. The expectation is for a formal announcement on Monday, or Wednesday at the latest.
Original post: We’re hearing a great deal of rumbling about dramatic changes coming Friday to E5 Global Media’s Adweek Group, including the strong possibility that professional media provocateur Michael Wolff could be announced as the group’s editorial director. And with that, comes the expectation that after years of hanging together separately, Adweek, Brandweek and Mediaweek could eventually be combined into one single publication. Repeated emails to Wolff, who currently sits on the board of Newser.com, the aggregation site he founded three years ago, and E5 Global CEO Richard Beckman, were not returned.
At the publications, lower-level staffers are concerned and senior execs are staying mum. One exception: an elliptical evening tweet from Adweek Digital Editor Brian Morrissey predicting “tmrw should be an interesting day at the office.
Newser CEO Patrick Spain told us Thursday that he hadn’t been informed of Wolff taking the job, but said that it shouldn’t affect the company. “He blogs for us, he’s founder and a director but not actively involved in operations.” He added, “I’ve never been too focused on Michael’s outside activities.” Those include his column for Vanity Fair and a new gig as contributing editor to Wired.
Rumors that Wolff is joining E5 Global began after ex-Daily Finance media reporter Jeff Bercovici wrote that Wolff had been sighted three times at the E5 Global’s offices late last month. Both E5 Global and Daily Finance’s parent, AOL (NYSE: AOL), have offices in the same building.
E5 Global, which bought eight of Nielsen’s media-entertainment related trade mags, including The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Adweek, Brandweek and Mediaweek at the end of last year, has been trying to find an editorial director since the start of the summer.
More as we know it.