People Magazine and Entertainment Weekly have officially begun merging staff as part of a larger restructuring plan for Time Inc., according to a report from the New York Daily News.
Inside sources told the Daily News that a staff memo sent in early February detailed the changes, stating that People and EW would remain as separate titles while strengthening collaboration. Sources told the newspaper that staffers had been “hearing and whispering about it for months."
“People and Entertainment Weekly can both benefit if the titles share more resources and work more closely together," Jess Cagle, editorial director for People and EW told The Huffington Post. "I’ve been looking at ways to do that for the past year, but make no mistake; they will always remain two distinct brands with two distinct audiences.”
Several internal staff changes would suggest that such a meshing of magazines is occurring. Following Bean's departure, Will Lee, former editor of People.com, was named digital editorial director of both People.com and EW.com, according to a memo sent by Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp.
The move also follows several recent staff shake-ups at the helm of Time Inc., with Teri Everett leaving the company after her position as executive vice president of corporate communications was eliminated. According to an internal memo obtained by Poynter, the company switched from "five separate communications structures to three" in February, naming Susan Parkes as overseer of communications efforts for People and EW.
Time Inc. began a massive round of staff layoffs last year ahead of its spinoff from Time Warner. An estimated 500 staffers were expected to lose their jobs at the time. Last month, Sports Illustrated (also owned by Time Inc.) laid off its entire photography staff as part of a plan to "restructure various departments."
On Tuesday, Entertainment Weekly's online editor Kyle Ryan tweeted and posted a picture on Instagram of his sudden departure from the company.
"At least you don't accumulate much when you work for a place for only 10 months," he wrote.