Meredith (NYSE: MDP) is continuing to build out its dedicated consumer marketing unit and has created a new role that’s designed to bring its print and digital efforts there together. The company has hired Nokia’s Liz Schimel as its first EVP for consumer relationship management and digital media. The move comes a few days after Time Inc. (NYSE: TWX) reorganized its own consumer marketing team with a new digital marketing/business development group at its heart.
Meredith, the publisher of Better Homes and Gardens and Family Circle, was an early believer in the need to create its own marketing agency in the face of industry-wide print advertising declines.
Lately, its competitors have been ramping up their marketing businesses as well. Most notably, Hearst Magazines expanded its reach into more general marketing programs thanks to its April acquisition of interactive shop iCrossing. The purchase was seen as a way to match Meredith’s growing stake in mobile marketer The Hyperfactory at the time.
In August, Meredith lost Jack Griffin, who was considered one of the primary drivers of its marketing business, to Time Inc., where he was tapped to replace Ann Moore, who retired as CEO last month.
Schimel has held a number of high-profile posts over the past few years. She was hired by Nokia (NYSE: NOK) more than two years ago to lead its mobile music unit as part of the entertainment and communities group. Before that, she was VP of business development for multimedia services at the original AT&T (NYSE: T) Wireless (before it became Cingular and then AT&T Mobility).
Her other stops along the way included a stint as SVP, online content development at Comcast Interactive Media (NSDQ: CMCSA) as well as BMG Online and BMG Entertainment.