Who Is Ann S. Moore?
Ann S. Moore is an American businesswoman and former gallery owner in New York who is most famous for her role as chair and CEO of Time Inc., the publishing company acquired by Meredith Corporation in February 2018.
Moore has repeatedly been named in Fortune magazine's annual list, "The 50 Most Powerful Women in American Business."
She is also active on the board of Royal Caribbean Group. and has previously served on the boards of Avon Products, Inc. and The Wallace Foundation.
- Ann S. Moore is an American businesswoman who is most famous for her role as chair and CEO of Time Inc.
- She began working at Time magazine in 1978 after she graduated from Harvard Business School, and rose through the ranks to become chair and CEO in 2002.
- Her success was at its peak during the 1990s, when she brought People magazine from a smaller part of the company to one of its leading revenue generators and also launched InStyle magazine and several others.
- Moore retired from Time Inc. in 2010, and in 2014, she opened The Curator Gallery in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood.
- Her accomplishments at Time Inc. cemented her reputation as an innovator in the magazine publishing industry in the late 20th century.
Early Life and Education
Ann S. Moore grew up in McLean, Virginia, and attended Vanderbilt University. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science in 1971 and moved to Boston to work in bookselling. She attended Harvard Business School, graduating with an MBA in 1978.
Moore joined Time Inc. as a financial analyst in 1978 after completing her MBA. She supposedly took the lowest paying job of 13 she was offered upon graduation because her dream was to work in magazine publishing.
Early Career at Time Inc.
Moore was quickly promoted to media manager of Sports Illustrated in 1979. Two years later she was appointed assistant circulation director of Fortune and then took over as circulation director of Money and then of Discover. In 1984 she became the general manager of Sports Illustrated. In 1989 she became the founding publisher of Sports Illustrated for Kids.
By drawing on her current network of clients, Moore was able to successfully presell advertising pages, in order to hit the ground running. She fostered a climate of close relationships between the publication’s editorial staff, marketing division, and circulation desk—a move that impressed the magazine’s founding editor, John Papanek, who praised her more integrated infrastructure, though it drew criticism from editors who felt she was not respecting the proverbial separation of church and state in publishing; that is, the separation of advertising sales and content production.
Success in the 1990s
By the 1990s, Moore had gained a reputation as a leader who could read audiences. She took over People Magazine in 1991 and pushed to modernize the format, switching the design from black-and-white to color and moving its publication date from Mondays to Fridays to capture female shoppers heading into the weekend.
Moore also augmented the publication’s content to include fashion and beauty sections to cement the brand as a female-first leader. People went from being a small brand in Time's portfolio to its cash cow, earning higher revenues than the flagship magazine. By 2001, People Magazine brought in $723.7 million in ad money, compared to Time Magazine's $666 million.
In 1994, Moore launched InStyle, which was initially, "met with a wall of skepticism...as competing publishers and many advertisers thought the fusion of fashion, shelter and celebrity categories was misguided." The magazine was a huge success, however, fostering a host of imitators in the decade that followed and proving that female audiences were the future and bedrock of magazine publishing.
Moore leveraged this success to launch several new titles including Teen People, People en Español, and Real Simple, which, according to Edward Lewis, led to Dick Parsons calling her "the launch queen."
President and CEO of Time Inc.
In July 2002 Moore was appointed chair and Chief Executive Officer of Time Inc., filling the space vacated by Don Logan when he joined Time Inc.'s parent company AOL Time Warner as chair of the media and communications group.
Time Inc. as a subsidiary of AOL Time Warner was suffering with most other publishers after the bursting of the internet bubble of the late '90s and early '00s. Advertising revenue was beginning to fall across the industry, and readers began a long shift from print to online publications. In the 2000s, reader habits began to change with the rise of blogs and social media.
In 2000, AOL purchased Time Warner for $166 billion dollars, which is still the largest merger in U.S. history. Over the course of Ann Moore's career, AOL fell from its perch as the largest internet company in world, and the merger of Time Warner and AOL came to be viewed as a massive mistake. The two companies parted ways in 2009, and Time Warner spun off its cable businesses the same year.
As CEO, Moore oversaw Time's acquisition of ESSENCE Communications, publisher of Essence magazine—the leading lifestyle magazine for African-American women—in 2005. In 2010, four years before Time Warner spun off Time Inc. as a separate company, Moore announced her retirement. In 2018 Time Inc. was bought by Meredith Corporation.
After Time Inc.
Moore took friends' advice after leaving Time Inc. and did not take another executive position. In an interview to Forbes in 2014, she said she realized during visits to her son in San Francisco that not many people were collecting art because the price of art had become prohibitive. Consequently, she decided to open The Curator Gallery in Manhattan as a place that would allow up-and-coming artists to sell their artwork for less than $10,000.
The Bottom Line
As the former longtime chair and CEO of Time, Inc., Ann S. Moore's long career in business will leave a lasting legacy in the magazine publishing business, which is why she has been named in Fortune magazine's annual list, "The 50 Most Powerful Women in American Business" several times.