Media: Lifeline - NatMags

As Jessica Burley takes over as MD, Duncan Edwards prepares for a long future as chief executive.

1982: Terry Mansfield (pictured), who had joined The National Magazine Company in 1969 as the ad manager on Harpers Bazaar, is appointed managing director. He replaces the Reverend Marcus Morris, who had been the managing director since 1963.

1998: Duncan Edwards, who had joined NatMags in 1989 as the ad manager of Company, rising to become the magazine's publisher (at the age of 26, the youngest-ever publisher appointed by the company), is anointed, aged 34, as the deputy managing director and eventual successor to Mansfield.

2002: On 1 March, the 63-year-old Mansfield supposedly hands the baton on to Edwards, who becomes the managing director. But Mansfield is given an "ambassadorial" role as the NatMags president - and to many he remains the company's figurehead. It's clear, though, that the company is becoming more progressive - for instance, in its decision to enter the weeklies market through the acquisition of Gruner & Jahr.

2005: Edwards (pictured) is made chief executive, while retaining the title of managing director. NatMags' parent company, the Hearst Corporation, says this reflects his importance to the company. He makes joint venture deals with the likes of Rodale.

Now: Edwards hands the role of managing director to Jessica Burley. She has been the chief operating officer of the company's ACP-NatMags division, which publishes joint venture weeklies. Now she will relinquish her role at ACP-NatMags and transfer her responsibilities to the company's 16 mainstream glossy monthlies, which include Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, She, Company and Harpers & Queen.

Fast forward ...

2008: Edwards confirms that Burley will be his successor. But given that Edwards is still only 44 and the fact that NatMags' bosses have never had much of a reputation for fading away, Burley refrains from holding her breath. Edwards has again begun cycling to work in an effort to keep fit - mysteriously, though, someone starts letting down his tyres.

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