comings & goings | Jan 9, 2019
Kate Kelly Smith retires, Town & Country’s Jennifer Levene Bruno assumes the role

On the heels of Hearst Design Group's recent editorial shakeups, the sales side has just announced its own leadership changes. Longtime publisher Kate Kelly Smith is retiring in March after eight years at the helm of Hearst Design Group (House Beautiful, Veranda, and Elle Decor), and a previous five as the publisher of House Beautiful. Taking her place will be Jennifer Levene Bruno, the publishing director and chief revenue officer of Town & Country. Bruno, who worked under Smith as associate publisher at House Beautiful in 2007, and then as publisher of Veranda in 2010, will remain in her position at Town & Country, while adding the HDG titles to her purview.

“We have extraordinary talent within our organization—[Bruno and the new executive team] are true brand leaders, with imagination and determination that inspires teams and drives business forward,” says Michael Clinton, Hearst Magazines president of marketing and publishing director. Clinton says Hearst is thankful for Smith’s “significant contributions, extraordinary leadership and consummate professionalism,” and wishes her “the very best.”

Smith is a veteran of the shelter publishing world. Her tenure on the business side began at Home Furnishings Daily (now HFN) in the early 1980s, where she started in sales. In 1994, she joined House Beautiful and rose through the ranks to become advertising director before leaving in 2001. In the aughts, Smith took a break from shelter, serving as publisher of Child and Prevention magazines before overseeing ad sales at Women’s Health. In 2006, she returned to House Beautiful as publisher, and came to serve as senior vice president of the Hearst Design Group. Under Smith’s leadership, the magazine received numerous industry awards, including the American Society of Magazine Editors Award for General Excellence in 2012.

The announcement today comes after a series of major editorial changes at the Hearst Design Group, including the departure of Veranda editor in chief Clinton Smith, massive layoffs of the editorial team, and new editors at the helm of House Beautiful and Veranda.

Homepage photo: Kate Kelly Smith, courtesy of Hearst. Hearst Tower, Shutterstock.com.

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