Hearst Steals Jack Essig From Rodale

Former SVP of Men’s and Women’s Health to Run Esquire and “Men’s Enthusiast Group”

Jack Essig, formerly senior vice president and publisher of Men’s Health and Women’s Health, has jumped over to Hearst Magazines to become SVP, publishing director and chief revenue officer of Esquire and Hearst’s newly formed Men’s Enthusiast Group.

Essig presided over periods of growth for both of the Rodale publications, and Hearst is hoping he can do the same for them.

Esquire, whose chief Kevin O’Malley recently switched to Elle (another Hearst magazine), has seen its advertising pages increased in 2011. Nonetheless, it remains stuck behind Conde Nast’s GQ among men’s publications.

Hearst’s recent acquisition of Hachette Filipacchi Media paved the way for the deal, as that added a variety of car magazines to Hearst’s previously female-heavy stable of titles. Among the new additions are Popular Mechanics, Car and Driver and Road & Track, all three of which are part of the Men’s Enthusiast Group.

See the Hearst press release below:


NEW YORK, July 6, 2011 – Michael A. Clinton, president, marketing and publishing director, Hearst Magazines, announced today that Jack Essig has been named senior vice president, publishing director and chief revenue officer of Esquire and the company’s newly-formed Men’s Enthusiast Group, which consists of Popular Mechanics, Car and Driver and Road & Track. He starts on July 25 and will report to Clinton.

As publishing director, Essig will be directly responsible for the advertising and marketing side of Esquire and will also help lead sales and marketing efforts for the company’s other men’s magazines. Bill Congdon, publisher and chief revenue officer of Popular Mechanics,and Rob Houghtlin, publisher and chief revenue officer of Car and Driver and Road & Track, will report to Essig. At Esquire, Essig replaces Kevin O’Malley, who was recently appointed senior vice president, publisher and chief revenue officer ofELLE.

Essig joins Hearst Magazines from Rodale Inc., where he most recently served as senior vice president and publisher of Men’s Health and Women’s Health since March 2009. Prior to that, he was SVP-publisher of Men’s Health since 2005, having moved his way up the magazine’s masthead from advertising director to associate publisher to VP-publisher in the span of nine-and-a-half years.

Under Essig’s leadership, both brands have shown tremendous growth on the print and digital fronts and have been awarded the industry’s top honors. In 2009, Women’s Health was named Magazine of the Year by Advertising Age; in 2010, it was no. 2 on the Adweek Hot List; Men’s Health was no. 4 the same year.

During his tenure, Essig launched several innovative initiatives, such as the industry's first fully interactive advertising issue and the Men’s Health Urbanathlon. Essig also expanded the footprint of the Women’s Health Are You Game marketing event.

“Jack has a 360-degree approach to magazine brands, which is essential for a publishing executive in this day and age,” Clinton said. “His experience in the men’s space, combined with his energy and ideas, will be instrumental in taking Esquire, Popular Mechanics, Car and Driver, and Road & Track to the next level of success.”

Prior to his time at Rodale, Essig served as advertising director at Men’s Journal from 1998 to 2001. Before that, he was an account manager at Meredith’s Traditional Home, and he began his sales career at Executive Media Corporation, a publisher of trade magazines.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the new Men’s Enthusiast Group, particularly during such an exciting time of growth at Hearst Magazines,” Essig said. “I look forward to the opportunity to work with David Granger and his team at Esquire, as well as with the publishing teams of the other highly-respected brands in the group.”