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Biography: Cathleen P. Black

Episode 506
Taking a Good Look at Looking Good!

Featured Guest:

Cathleen P. Black
President, Hearst Magazines

Cathleen Black – dubbed "The First Lady of American Magazines" and "one of the leading figures in American publishing over the past two decades" by the Financial Times – was named president of Hearst Magazines, a division of The Hearst Corporation and one of the world's largest publisher of monthly magazines, in 1996. She manages the financial performance and development of some of the industry's best-known titles: Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Harper's BAZAAR, Marie Claire, O, The Oprah Magazine, Popular Mechanics, Redbook, and Town & Country — 19 magazines total in the U.S. She also oversees 145 international editions of those magazines in more than 100 countries and a total of nearly 200 titles around the world. Most recently, she oversaw the launch of Quick & Simple, Hearst's first weekly magazine in the U.S.

One of Black's key areas of emphasis is extending the brand names of Hearst's titles beyond magazines, into more than 3,500 products on the world market. She also has promoted growth in licensing and the Internet, and has overseen aggressive international expansion.

Having begun her career in advertising sales with several magazines, including Holiday and Ms., she made publishing history in 1979 when she became the first woman publisher of a weekly consumer magazine: New York.

Black is widely credited for the success of USA Today, where for eight years starting in 1983, she was first president, then publisher, as well as a board member and executive vice president/marketing of Gannett, its parent company. In 1991 she became president and CEO of the Newspaper Association of America, the industry's largest trade group, where she served for five years before joining Hearst.

She serves as a member of the boards of IBM, iVillage and the Coca-Cola Company, and held a two-year term (1999-2001) as chairman of the Magazine Publishers of America. She is also a board member of the Advertising Council, a trustee of The University of Notre Dame and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

In 2006, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) and the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). Black was featured on Forbes magazine's annual list of "The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women" in 2005 and 2006 and, in 2006, is on Fortune magazine's annual list of the "50 Most Powerful Women in American Business" for the eighth consecutive year. In 2006, she was named "Corporate Publisher of the Year" by The Delaney Report and "Publishing Executive of the Year" by Advertising Age in 2000.In June 2002, Crain's New York Business named her one of its "100 Most Influential Business Leaders."

Her first book, part memoir/part business advice, entitled Basic Black, will be published in October 2007 by Crown Publishing.

Black is a graduate of Trinity College, Washington, D.C., and holds eight honorary degrees.

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