August 14, 2007 — Time Inc.’s home and lifestyle subsidiary, Southern Progress Corporation (SPC), publisher of nationally recognized brands that reach more than 35 million people each month, announced several new hires to its newly-formed digital division, SPC Digital. Publishers of Cooking Light, Southern Living, Health, Cottage Living, Coastal Living, Southern Accents and Sunset magazines, SPC Digital was created to bring its powerful brands and original content together in new online venues.
Jim Sexton, 49, was named Senior Vice President and Editorial Director. Based in Birmingham, Alabama, Sexton will lead the creative vision, set editorial direction, and manage editorial teams for all of the Southern Progress magazine Web sites, as well as the newly launched MyRecipes.com and the forthcoming MyHomeIdeas.com. He will also oversee the Southern Progress Digital Video Studio located in Birmingham.
Most recently Sexton was Senior Vice President, Interactive Brands for Scripps Networks. In a series of leadership roles, he led the strategic direction and content of the Scripps home sites, including HGTV.com and its sister sites (HGTVpro.com, HGTVkitchendesign.com, and HGTVbathdesign.com) as well as DIYnetwork.com. The sites he managed have won three prestigious Webby Awards. Earlier in his career, Jim spent almost 10 years in editorial roles at various publications, including USA Weekend and several Whittle Communications magazines. He received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee.
Steve Zales, 48, was named Senior Vice President and General Manager. Based in New York, Zales will be responsible for managing all of the business and operational functions of SPC Digital. He will also implement innovative strategies to build audience, advertising revenue, and market share, and will identify and leverage additional integration and growth opportunities.
Zales joins SPC Digital from Inform Technologies where he was the Chief Executive Officer in charge of all aspects of this early-stage data structuring technology services company. He brings a wealth of experience to the job, having been Senior Vice President and General Manager of ESPN Internet Group and founding Vice President and General Manager of CNNSI.com. He also spent a number of years at Sports Illustrated, HBO and Unilever. In addition to Inform Technologies, he has two other early-stage new media experiences: he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Spencer Stuart Talent Network, and President of ClubMom. He received a bachelor’s degree in sociology and economics with honors from Dartmouth College and a master of management degree from Northwestern University.
Andrea DiCastro, 37, joins SPC Digital as executive producer. Based in New York, DiCastro will serve as the lead on crucial ongoing initiatives where technology, editorial, sales, and marketing meet. She will work closely with internal teams to further the development of platforms and programs that impact the SPC Web sites.
She comes to SPC Digital from NextJump Inc. where she worked on product design and implementation projects. Prior to that, she worked at When.com for two years as Senior Director, technology operations, and four years at PRIMEDIA, most recently as Senior Director, project development. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Oklahoma.
After working as a consultant on all of the Southern Progress Web sites, Dane Sorensen, 39, was named Marketing Director for SPC Digital. Sorensen is responsible for leading the marketing strategy and audience development for the company’s online brands and will provide strategic support for business development.
Sorensen joined SPC from Land’s End, where he most recently served as divisional director/Internet, responsible for increasing the consumer demand, conversion, and brand experience for all Lands’ End online businesses. He received a BFA in communications design with honors from the Pratt Institute.
In May 2007 SPC Digital launched an extensive food portal, MyRecipes.com, a comprehensive food site featuring more than 26,000 recipes, expert content, and the trusted brands of Southern Progress. In its first month, MyRecipes.com attracted 1.4 million unique users.
About SPC Digital
SPC Digital creates powerful branded Web sites, building on the existing content of the Southern Progress magazines and books as well as adding original interactive content, dynamic functionality, video and tools to attract and engage food and home enthusiasts. SPC Digital is a division of the Birmingham, Ala.-based Southern Progress Corporation (www.southernprogress.com).