Steven R. Swartz has been named president and chief operating officer of Hearst Corporation. He will succeed the media company's current chief Frank A. Bennack Jr. on June 1, Hearst said.
Bennack, a 50-year veteran of Hearst, will continue to serve as executive vice chairman of the Hearst board of directors and chairman of the corporation's executive committee. His 28 years leading the company is second only to its founder, William Randolph Hearst.
Swartz (left) takes control as Hearst, a mass-media company in the classical sense with tendrils stretching into everything from television to the web, works to find its footing in the digital and mobile age. To that end, the privately-held company, which has an interest in such cable networks as ESPN and Lifetime, in addition to boasting magazine and newspaper titles like O: The Oprah Magazine and Cosmopolitan, has made strides in improving its internet profits.
For instance, Hearst Magazines President David Carey reported to staff in January that digital subscriptions were generating profits as well as page views; monthly page views on mobile devices grew 39 million in 2011 to 186 million in 2012, he said.
Swartz also takes control after the company was singed by a serious of embarrassing headlines after Scott Sassa was forced to resign this month as Hearst's entertainment and syndication president in a sexting scandal involving a stripper's attempts to exhort him.
Swartz was named president in December 2012, after being named COO in March 2011. At Hearst, he served as president Hearst Newspapers, overseeing the company's 15 daily newspapers and dozens of weekly papers.
Swartz also served as president and chief executive of SmartMoney, the business publication launched by Hearst and Dow Jones. He began his journalism career as a reporter with the Wall Street Journal, climbing up the ranks to serve as an editor on the Journal's page one staff from 1989 to 1991.