Media: Lifeline - NatMag

Since joining in 1989, Duncan Edwards has overseen changing front covers and changes in the boardroom.

March 2002: Terry Mansfield, who'd been the managing director of The National Magazine Company since 1982, is succeeded by Duncan Edwards, 37 at the time, who had joined the company in 1989 from the obscure trade journal Media Week.

May 2005: Edwards proves himself quickly as a dynamic leader - for instance, in his decision to take NatMag into the weeklies market through the acquisition of Gruner & Jahr. Now his importance to the company is recognised when he is made the chief executive (the first time the company has featured such a role in the UK), while retaining the title of managing director.

November 2005: But he soon finds someone to share his burden - Jessica Burley, the chief operating officer of ACP-NatMag, a joint venture in the weeklies market, is handed the managing director role. And it's an increasingly challenging position, with the company publishing twice the number of titles it did in 2000.

January 2009: Edwards hasn't quite finished his ascent of the corporate pole, however - now it's announced he is leaving his role as the chief executive of NatMag to become the president and chief executive of Hearst Magazines International.

March 2009: The very well-regarded Burley had been tipped to follow Edwards into the UK chief executive role. But the company chooses, instead, to appoint Arnaud de Puyfontaine, the former head of Emap France, as its new chief executive. Puyfontaine, who was with Emap for ten years, latterly under its new owners, the Italian publisher Mondadori, will report to Edwards.

Fast forward ...

April 2011: And when Edwards is handed the top job at Hearst, he's succeeded by Puyfontaine - and Burley at last steps up to become the UK chief executive. But the most interesting appointment of all is Burley's choice as successor, Alex Ballantyne, the managing director of Hearst Digital Networks, who shocks traditionalists by stating he's considering phasing out most of the company's print editions within two years.


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